Skip to main content

Full text of "ABC News 1978 1979"

See other formats


***REFERENCES***
----------------



A Journey Among Refugees, Rulers and Rumor-Mongers in the Arab States of the Gulf

Curtiss, Richard H. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 5.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218815287?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

A Gulf Airways plane bearing the Golden Falcon company logo takes us on the first leg of a journey to three of the countries that jointly operate the airline, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as well as to Saudi Arabia. The September-October trip originally was to have begun in Kuwait. Since the Aug. 2 Iraqi invasion, however, we've cancelled Kuwait and more than 100,000 of our compatriots have arrived in the area in the preceding 30 days.

Although I have made annual trips to the Gulf for more than 20 years, and my traveling companion, Ambassador Andrew Killgore, publisher of this magazine, has lived for extended periods in four Gulf countries, we agree there has never been a more informative time to visit the Gulf. Events of the summer of 1990 raised troubling questions that could only be answered by leaders of the countries the US is protecting. Had these desert falcons, doves in their dealings with their neighbors, suddenly turned into hawks, spoiling for a war whose long-term consequences can only be imagined?

Never Again the Same
The hawk proposition, advanced unquestioningly in the US media, seemed doubtful, but the same journalists were undoubtedly correct in maintaining that the area will never again be the same. Our goal is to find out how it will change. And how will the changes affect the US, which leads the effort to force Iraq to give up the spoils of its aggression?

For the past century and a half, Americans and Arabs have worked as well together as any other combination of East and West. Most Americans leave a part of themselves behind when they return home, sometimes after working a lifetime among the extraordinarily warm and hospitable Arabs of easygoing Cairo, scenic Beirut, or the oil-rich desert oases of Saudi Arabia. For their part, the Arabs have always been curiously attracted to the generally uncomplicated and quietly efficient Americans among them, but frustrated, even infuriated, by US Middle East policies.

"We like you Americans but not your government," was their invariable reaction to US policies dictated by ill-defined "interests" which, they could see, had nothing to do with the beliefs or desires of the Americans they knew, or the real interests of the country from which these "good Americans" came.

Would this same love-hate relationship develop anew among the Arabs of the Gulf and the tens of thousands of relatively unsophisticated and uninhibited Americans pouring into one of the most religiously conservative areas of the globe? And who would be changed: Americans, Gulfis, or both?

First answers were disheartening. Seated by chance by a Palestinian-born American citizen, I was subjected to a series of bizarre explanations for the current crisis. As he recounted what "people here are saying," it appeared that he believed everything that had gone wrong in the Gulf resulted from American conspiracies.

Conspiracy Theories
By not warning Saddam Hussain that it would react so vigorously to an invasion of Kuwait, he said, the US had expected to lure the Iraqi president into taking only the Kuwaiti fraction of the disputed Rumaila oil field and Bubiyan and Warba islands, with which Iraq hoped to protect its access to the sea from Iranian interdiction. Then, after Iraq had moved its forces into these vulnerable and virtually uninhabited positions, my seatmate charged, the US would have smashed the Iraqis without damaging the city of Kuwait or its oil-producing facilities.

From this viewpoint, what I considered Saddam Hussain's catastrophic miscalculation in overrunning Kuwait became his shrewd tactic to slip out of a planned American trap. I stubbornly pointed out, however, that the Bush administration had lost considerable prestige and $2 billion in investment credits for the Iraqi purchase of US agricultural products by treating the Iraqi president like a responsible chief of state, in hopes that he would thus become one, and open up his oil-rich country's economy to make it a valuable US trading partner.

Without pause, my interlocutor shifted facilely into another explanation for the invasion. Instead of negotiating in good faith, he said, Kuwait's Crown Prince had brusquely told his Iraqi counterpart last Aug. 1 that US forces would be landing within 24 hours to protect Kuwait from giving in to any Iraqi demands, even reasonable ones such as respecting OPEC oil production quotas, forgiving Kuwait's $15 billion in wartime loans to Iraq, and repaying Iraq for the oil pumped from the jointly-claimed Rumaila field while Iraq was preoccupied by its eight-year war. Thus, my seatmate explained, Saddam's invasion was only a lightning defensive maneuver to foil what the Kuwaitis had tricked him into believing was a US-Kuwaiti conspiracy.

As the plane touched down in the first Gulf state to be visited, I gloomily reflected that if people really were saying these things, they were capable of believing anything they wished to about the Gulf crisis, and perhaps all the demeaning reports in the US media about what Arab leaders wanted were true.

The next morning, however, our first contact with a Palestinian in a responsible position in the host government yielded a different viewpoint. We stood in his office looking down into a courtyard as General Norman Swartzkopf, commander of US forces in the Gulf, arrived in a motorcade to visit the chief of state. To our astonishment, the US political adviser/interpreter, clad like the general in desert camouflage uniform, was a foreign service officer with whom I had studied Arabic in Beirut and my colleague had served in Baghdad nearly 30 years earlier. Fortunately for the prospects of operation Desert Shield, that foreign service officer was a better linguist than I.

Palestinians in Jeopardy
Oblivious to our thoughts, our Palestinian friend was complaining that by not moving quickly to denounce the Iraqi invasion, Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat had put some 600,000 to 700,000 Palestinians working in the Gulf, and the thousands more in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza who depend upon their earnings, in grave jeopardy. Now they were regarded as a potential fifth column throughout the threatened area. If Arafat didn't join the calls for Saddam's unconditional withdrawal quickly, our friend said, these Palestinians might be invited to leave Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, although many, like himself, had spent their entire working lives there.

We pointed out that by straddling the issue, Palestine's president probably hoped to protect the Palestinians in Iraq and the 300,000 to 400,000 in Iraqi-occupied Kuwait. Unlike the Egyptians, Asians and Africans streaming home from those countries, the Palestinians have nowhere else to go. More likely, our Palestinian host noted wryly, Arafat had hoped to protect his troops and funds in Baghdad.

The first cabinet minster we visited, an old friend of us both, was deeply concerned about the tense situation resulting from two major, hostile military machines confronting each other across the Kuwaiti border. Of course, he said, the last thing his government wanted was a war, even though it might, in the short run, reap enormous profits if its oil fields remained intact while those of Kuwait and Iraq were damaged or destroyed. Already, with no fields damaged, oil prices were reaching record highs.

War always has unforeseen consequences, this Gulf minister continued. Why, therefore, would an area enjoying prosperity unimaginable only 20 years earlier risk everything on an uncertain and unneccesary military adventure?

It was a refrain we were to hear over and over again for the next three weeks, starting in that same emirate where, as in Kuwait and others, the heir-apparent to the ruler is also the minister of defense. The latter quickly dispelled any notion he was a secret hawk.

Over dinner with his brothers and aides, he first expressed admiration for General Swartzkopf. Our host told us his own government welcomed the US-led defensive buildup, and was astonished at the speed of the American response and the diplomatic skills exhibited by President George Bush in working so successfully through the United Nations to make it a worldwide effort. He even predicted that this worldwide response would eventually restore some cohesiveness to the Arab League, which he said had been so badly split not by the necessity of condemning the Iraqi invasion, but over the nature and timing of the Arab response to it.

His own questions centered on the length of time we thought it would take the embargo and blockade to squeeze Iraq, and how we thought Saddam would react when it did. When we suggested it might help Saddam Hussain to justify to his own people a peaceful withdrawal from Kuwait if America's Arab allies insisted on linking, in principle if not in actual timing, the withdrawal of all Iraqi, Syrian and Israeli military occupation forces in the Middle East, our royal host agreed, saying his country had already made such representations to the United States.

Reassuring Encounters
Our first personal encounter with America's newest representatives in the Gulf was equally reassuring. A US ambassador had already told us the military contingents that had descended, literally, on the emirate in which he was based were refreshingly different from the demoralized, missionless US troops with whom he had served as a diplomat in Vietnam.

These young people in the Gulf are volunteers and proud of the skills they have acquired to do exactly the kind of job upon which they presently are embarked. Their officers, instead of worrying about how long they will be maneuvering and training in the heat, dust and sand, express more concern about what they read in the press about the alleged fragility of the national consensus, and the fickleness of public opinion in the US. Would it support their mission for the time required for the embargo to take hold?

The speed with which they had left their bases, and the uncertainty about what they faced upon arrival, was reflected in their wardrobes. At an embassy reception, young Air Force women mingled confidently and indistinguishably with embassy staff and spouses. A clean-cut young male logistics officer, however, was dressed in a sport shirt because, quite reasonably, it had not occurred to him to take a civilian suit and tie with him to a potential war zone. He conversed politely and easily, nevertheless, with local merchants in their Arab headdresses and white flowing robes, and with European and Far Eastern diplomats in their dark suits.

National pride colors judgment, but these two American visitors, who 45 years ago were playing similar roles in uniform among devastated allies and defeated enemies in Europe and the Pacific, left the reception feeling very proud of the soft-spoken, unassuming young Americans representing their country in the Middle East.

The Same Old Magic
Was the same old magic beginning to work, as young Americans listened intently to the political talk between US dipomats and their Middle Eastern guests? The Arabs were visibly captivated by the young eagles who spent their mornings soaring through the skies over the glittering new cities of the Gulf, and their evenings demonstrating to the Arabs they met that they hope to use their military skills not for conquest, but only to deter further depredations by a military dictator.

Prepared as we were, however, it was still a shock as our plane swooped down on another Gulf state to see a group of young US or British servicemen standing by their jeeps along the runway and waving cheerfully to the passengers on the incoming commercial airliners. When the novelty is over, how will this register with people who spent 400 years ridding themselves of Ottoman overlords, and another half century ridding themselves of Western military advisers and bases? What do Arabs think when they see Western officers in civilian clothes on their streets and in desert camouflage uniforms in the Ministries of Defense in the five remaining Gulf Cooperation Council countries, all pledged by treaty to come to the aid of fellow GCC member Kuwait?

Perhaps the daily outrages said to be taking place in that occupied emirate, and knowing also that these young American, British, French and other foreign men and women are counting the days until they can go home, will make all the difference -- so long as those days don't continue for too long.

In the airports and shopping streets of the Gulf, handicraft vendors have added new designs to their stock of souvenir T-shirts: "I survived Bahrain, 1990," and "Saudi Arabia, August 1990" have taken their places along with more traditional Gulf coats of arms and prints of Middle Eastern artifacts.

Gulfis argue openly with each other over the growing buildup. A rich merchant, whose tastefully designed and furnished mansion reflects years of business travel throughout the world, listens to a Jordanian "professor" expound at length on the theory that the present crisis is the result of American and/or British manipulation and scheming to get their forces once again planted firmly, and permanently, among Gulf oil fields, which contain 60 percent of the world's proven oil reserves.

"Rubbish," says the merchant finally, banging his fist down on on the biggest Brazilian amethyst geode I have ever seen, inside or outside a museum. "The Americans will leave when they're ready to, and probably well before we are ready to see them go. The real danger is that with all of this buildup, war will break out before anyone finds out from Saddam Hussain what it is he needs to enable him to withdraw without ruining oil production facilities in both Kuwait and Iraq.”

Noting shocked faces among his guests, he adds: "Of course Bush is right to say the Iraqi withdrawal must be unconditional. But the Kuwaitis should be talking to Saddam right now, offering him anything within reason to get him out of their country before he destroys everything they have built there over 40 years. Is it too much to give him their part of the oilfield he claims? They have others. They say they were going to forgive his loans whenever he asked, so forgive them. Instead of arguing about leasing him two islands, let them give him both. They have their own ports, and it will put more Iraqis between Kuwait and the Iranians. If the Al Sabah family won't provide him the excuse he needs to withdraw, then you Americans can give him one at their expense and no cost to you by agreeing that the Kuwaitis should choose their own government in UN-supervised elections after the Iraqi withdrawal.

"And, of course, you should link the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait to the future Israeli withdrawal from Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. It will give Saddam an excuse to say he has accomplished something through his invasion of Kuwait, and then leave peacefully. It will give America an excuse to do what it should have done years ago, and must do now if the United States, and its friends like us, are to survive in this area.”

The speaker was a man of humble origins whose acumen had raised him from truck driver to merchant prince, and whose house the ruler of the state had once tried, unsuccessfully, to buy as a wedding gift for one of his sons.

"I told him no at any price," the merchant said, staring contentedly through the picture window at peacocks roaming under the date palms in his back yard. "I told him it took me six years to complete this place. Let his son spend six years building his own dream house. He's younger than I am.”

Clearly the Gulf states are not medieval autocracies. Nor, we learn, does the ruler hold the rejection against the merchant, who continues to thrive.

A Late-Night Audience
In another state, we have a late-night audience with one of those Gulf rulers who has created in his once-obscure corner of the desert a shining city in a lush, green oasis, irrigating with desalinated seawater trees and shrubs lining miles of new highways.

Assured that everything he says is on background, he pours out a nightmare scenario which we had seen referred to in the Middle East press, and which he clearly believes to be true. The Iraqi move, he speculates, resulted from an understanding with "the Palestinians" that, rather than attack Israel frontally, Saddam Hussain would first secure the oil-producing Arab hinterland, starting with Kuwait. Thus assured that Kuwait was a necessary detour on the road to Jerusalem, this ruler declared, Yasser Arafat agreed to put Palestinians throughout the area at Saddam's service.

King Hussein of Jordan, this ruler says, may have been co-opted by promises that the Hejaz, from which Saudi King Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud had ejected Hussein's great grandfather in the 1920s, would be his.

The Yemenis, with a population in their mountainous country rivaling that of vast Saudi Arabia, and a million of their people actually working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, were probably beguiled with Saddam's promises that they could seize once-disputed uplands occupied by the Saudis in the 1930s. Even the government of the Sudanese, many of whom also work in the Kingdom and the Gulf, was co-opted with Iraqi weapons to use against non-Muslim rebels in the south.

All, this ruler says, were bought with Saddam's money and promises. All of these governments, and many of their people in the area, would support an Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia.

Reminded that such an invasion is now impossible, with reconstituted Kuwaiti forces, units from a dozen Muslim countries and powerful Western military contingents now reinforcing Saudi Arabia's own defenses, the ruler says that is exactly his point.

Saddam Hussain now realizes his mistake, the ruler says. He should have seized the Saudi oil fields when he could have, on Aug. 2. Then, a surrounded Kuwait would have fallen without firing a shot. So now Saddam will find a way to withdraw from Kuwait with his army intact. Then, two or three years after US forces have declared victory and gone home, the Iraqi dictator can move again to take the Saudi oilfields, while Yemen moves against Saudi Arabia from the south, and Jordan from the north.

I wondered, as we listened, if at last we had found one of the Arab hawks about whom we had read. This ruler didn't just want the current aggression stopped and the occupation of Kuwait ended. He apparently wanted Saddam's head as well.

As we pointed out that aggression against Saudi Arabia or any other Gulf state two or three years hence would elicit the same worldwide US and UN responses, and probably even more quickly because of the astonishing change in US-Soviet relations, he smiled and visibly relaxed. It was what he wanted to be told, over and over, by Western and Arab visitors. It is readily understandable, for those who see what this ruler and his once nearly destitute people have built in just 20 years, that he would be so fearful of seeing it all destroyed, as may be happening in Kuwait even as we speak.

The conversation shifts and the ruler asks, with genuine solicitousness, about the comfort and morale of "your countrymen who are our guests as well as our protectors." When we point out that in their civilian clothes they are difficult to distinguish in his streets and hotels from the Western business people and contractors who have been in the oil-producting states for a generation, he smiles broadly. "But they are here among us," he says, "and they are welcome. We want them to stay so long as you and we feel threatened, by Iraq today, and possibly by other quarters in the region tomorrow.”

Was this really a hawk, we wondered. Or is such an Arab leader, justly proud of what he has accomplished with his oil riches, but wise enough to realize his tiny state needs distant, non-threatening friends for protection, a new species unique to the Gulf: perhaps a golden falcon?

We arrive in Saudi Arabia, our last stop, well behind schedule. Reluctantly we skip Dhahran, in the Eastern Province, where virtually all of the Western forces are concentrated and where, we hear, most of the hotels have been booked for the American units awaiting transfer to forward positions, airfields and naval facilities.

Swooping directly into Riyadh, the Saudi capital, we conclude those reports must be true. Even here, considerably farther from the oil fields and Iraqi forces, the two airfields are dotted with giant, unmarked military air transports. Our driver points out the hotels in the capital completely booked for US military units. It is Friday, the Muslim sabbath, but in the streets leading to the Ministry of Defense are Americans in desert camouflage uniforms walking to the offices where, with Saudi counterparts, they are supervising the biggest buildup of outside military forces in the Mideast since the epic battles in Mesopotamia and the Levant in World War I and in North Africa in World War II.

Our hotel is a little United Nations, with strapping but soft-spoken American men and women in the omnipresent desert camouflage, and equally tall but willowy Saudis in identical uniforms and red berets, mingling in the lobby and at the dining room buffet with British, French, and Scandinavian officers. These European liaison personnel wear less striking uniforms and everyone, clearly, has been briefed on how to be friendly but unobtrusive in this heartland of Islam.

I ask one foursome of strapping soldiers in jungle rather than desert camouflage why their uniforms don't match those of the other American soldiers. "Because we're British soldiers," they explain politely.

Only upon returning to the United States do I learn the rest of the story. Four years ago Britain sold its entire stock of desert uniforms to, of all countries, Iraq. "The present deployment of forces to the Gulf was unforeseen," the British Defense Ministry now lamely explains.

Nowhere in the Middle East do we see servicemen clutching the plastic water bottles which have become the photographers' and cartoonists' symbol for "Operation Desert Shield, 1990." But then, these service men and women are living in comfortable hotels, and not tents at military bases closer to the Kuwaiti and Iraqi borders.

The weather in Riyadh, which is relatively high and dry, is already changing for the better in early October. The air on the Gulf coast was still hot, heavy and so humid that glasses steamed up instantly when we exited air-conditioned rooms. In the Gulf, however, the weather will remain humid but no longer excessively warm from the beginning of November until mid-April. By that time, some or all of the Western personnel who "survived" August and September will, perhaps, be home again.

Americans assume that the sight of American women driving heavy equipment and repairing aircraft engines on the miltary bases will leave the area forever changed. In the UAE, women already are being recruited into the armed forces. In Saudi Arabia, some 50,000 women have signed up for civil defense courses, which have just added training in protection from poison gas.

Kuwaitis A Factor For Change
In Riyadh, the conservative heart of conservative Saudi Arabia, however, we discern another factor for change. In all of the Gulf countries the rulers have welcomed dispossessed Kuwaitis. They and their families are put up at no charge in hotels and their children are enrolled, without placement tests, in the appropriate level in local schools at no charge. In Saudi Arabia the Saudi government is allocating $10,000 apiece to purchase furniture and appliances and put each Kuwaiti family into an apartment, with rent paid by the Saudi government and by the Kuwaiti government-in-exile, which has been set up in the Saudi summer capital of Taif.

On walking into any hotel in the Saudi capital, the visitor is suddenly aware of children. They run noisily through the lobbies, sit cross-legged in intent conversational groups outside the rooms, and at mealtimes perch quietly and attentively among their parents, grandparents or Asian nannies in the public dining rooms and lounges, where conservative Saudi couples would seldom or never be seen in mixed groups.

These are the Kuwaitis, hundreds of thousands of whom have escaped to Saudi Arabia or returned from European vacations to Saudi Arabia because, like the Palestinians, they suddenly have nowhere else to go.

The parking lot in the hotel in which we are staying is full of Mercedes, Chryslers, Lincolns and even Ferraris. They are dusty and some are pockmarked from stones kicked up during dramatic, high-speed desert escapes. Their Kuwaiti license plates, once a common sight all over the Middle East, now have a special elan.

"Are you Kuwaiti?" we ask in Arabic of two lovely young girls in dark abayas with whom we share an elevator.

"Yes," they answer in English.

"We hope you can soon return to your country.”

"Thank you," they murmur, their eyes suddenly brimming with tears.

"Are you Kuwaiti?" I ask a man with two handsome little boys at the airline desk in the hotel lobby who is having a hard time understanding what an impatient young Filipino clerk is telling him about onward flights to Jeddah.

"Yes," he says. After a pause he adds, "I escaped today.”

"Congratulations," I say.

There is no answering smile.

"I could only bring out my young sons." he says painfully. "My older boys are still there.”

Among Saudi Arabia's 10 million people there are about three million foreign workers, yet they have made very little change in the conservative life style. Suddenly having close to a million long-term visitors, from an adjacent Muslim country which is considerably less conservative, will almost certainly have a greater long-term effect on the Saudi lifestyle than all of the foreign troops combined.

Saudi Hospitality
On our first visit to a Saudi cabinet minister, also an old friend of us both, he describes the astonishment of one American air force commander when a Saudi supplier arrived with 4,500 extra breakfasts for US troops who had arrived at the Dhahran airport during the night. For the Saudis, the ability of their free market economy to absorb the impact of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Kuwait at the same time it is supporting the massive buildup of foreign troops is not surprising.

Every year Saudi Arabia hosts more than a million Muslim pilgrims who arrive at two specific times on the Islamic calender to visit Mecca, and if possible Medina as well, and then depart. By these standards the current influx, although it is taking place in the eastern rather than the western portion of the country, is easily handled.

That very fact, the minister points out, adds irony to Baghdad radio's claim to Muslim countries that US and European troops are violating the sanctity of these Islamic shrines. In fact the only foreign troops within hundreds of miles of the two holy cities are from Muslim states. Even more pertinent is the fact that of the three million foreign workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, perhaps a million are non-Muslims from virtually every country in Asia as well as Europe and North America. Such workers have been coming to Saudi Arabia for decades without serious problems, just as they have been coming to Iraq.

This minister, who found time to serve as a national officer of the Arab Student Federation in the United States while earning a Ph.D. from an American university, is awed by only one aspect of the summer's events.

"I never expected in my lifetime to see two or three hundred foreign journalists in the Kingdom at the same time," he says wonderingly. When we note ruefully that not all Western journalists wish Saudi Arabia well, he dismisses our concerns.

"Whatever their intentions, the exposure will improve our society," he insists. "If they are looking for corruption and find some, we will have to deal with it wherever it exists. If we hear from outside that all Saudis need better represention at all levels of government, we will work harder at all levels to provide it. If your troops stay here long enough we will have to face the question of tourism. Their families will want to visit them. Someday when these young men and women have families of their own, they will want to bring them back to visit the country in which they served, just as we take our families to vacation in the country in which we studied. These are all problems we will someday face. Why not now?”

We have a long session at the Saudi Foreign Ministry with an official in the department of "Western affairs," the equivalent of a State Department regional desk. Although he is a Saudi prince, his business card makes reference only to his present position and his Ph.D., which is from an American university.

A New Generation of American-Educated Civil Servants
Although those at the decision-making level in the royal family are in their 60s, the next echelon of royals, the cabinet ministers, and virtually all of the top civil servants are American-educated.

So are their secretaries, who are men, not women, in a country where, because the sexes are segregated outside the home, employment for women is largely confined to women's schools, women's hospitals, women's cooperatives and even women's banks. Not surprisingly, however, some of these women, too, are American-educated, the result of a relative having actually stayed with the young women in the United States while they obtained their American degrees.

We come away from the Foreign Ministry with the feeling that, whereas a decade ago only one or two people in each Saudi ministry, and virtually no one in the other Gulf states, really understood the United States, now there are literally hundreds who are well-disposed toward our country, and understand its strengths and weaknesses at least as well as does the average American. Many, generally out of hearing of their countrymen, literally become teary-eyed as, with a catch in their voices, they describe the "goodness" of Americans, "the best people in the world," and then tell some personal anecdote from their university days to make their point.

Saudi officials are no longer naive enough to repeat the familiar refrain, "We love Americans but not your government." Instead they quite accurately describe the pro-Israel influences in the Congress, the media, and even in the executive branch that have so effectively sabotaged relations between the United States and their country, which in the 1930s "chose" America as its mentor over a dozen European suitors, and which has doggedly continued its unrequited love affair with the US ever since.

Our host asks searching questions about US public opinion, and expresses unbounded admiration for the diplomatic skills exhibited by George Bush in taking rapid and almost unilateral action, but then rallying worldwide support for the defense of Saudi Arabia. Gradually we realize that virtually every Saudi official with whom we are meeting is absolutely convinced that Saddam Hussain would surely have attacked and overrun Saudi Arabia if US forces had not arrived as promptly as they did. Whether or not they are correct, the summer of 1990 is being chalked up in Saudi Arabia as proof that the Saudi "Americanists," who never lost faith in the United States, were right all along.

We visit another old friend, a Saudi prince, who for many years has been a favorite contact for American diplomats and journalists. Now the head of one of Saudi Arabia's largest governmental enterprises, he still found time to brief the deluge of visiting correspondents this summer, and his face is increasingly familiar on American television. For most of a morning he quizzes us about American public opinion, the Bush administration, Congress, and, particularly, the image of his country being presented to the American public by the US media as a result of the new policy of admitting virtually every journalist who applies for a visa.

On our last day in the Saudi capital we see the results of our morning with him. We had been invited to lunch by other Saudi friends. The prince simply incorporated the other hosts and guests into a luncheon at his residence to which he also invited visiting American journalists and Middle East specialists.

For an hour and a half before lunch, his 15 Saudi guests, all prominent American-educated government officials and academics, hotly debated, in fluent English, the issues facing Saudi Arabia, and the United States, in the Gulf. It was a faithful reproduction, on a small scale and in a language understood by his foreign guests, of exactly how government is conducted in his country.

Saudis are the first to admit that they talk a subject to death. Finally, after innumerable such sessions, a true consensus emerges, and only then is action taken. The procedure applies from the humblest clan to the royal family. Action is slow, but seldom is there a need to change course or backtrack.

"We are Arabs," the Saudis explain. "We are a vocal and emotional people. By insisting on all opinions being heard, and discussed, and insisting upon consensus before we take action, we turn those attributes into our greatest asset.”

The debate this day rages hotly, but we emerge with clear impressions. Not all Saudis believe the great Saddam Hussain conspiracy theory in its entirety. But, just as it has thrown a shadow over the Palestinians living in vulnerable emirates in the Gulf, it is throwing a shadow over the million Yemenis in Saudi Arabia. Until now, Yemenis have had a unique status in the Kingdom. All other non-Saudis need a sponsor to work in the country. If they have a falling out with the sponsor, they leave. Yemenis have been free to come and go, and many have opened their own small businesses without any Saudi sponsor or partner. That will no longer be possible.

They are not being expelled. If they go home to Yemen, however, they will need a sponsor to return. This could have a very severe effect not only on the individuals, but on the foreign remittances which are still vital to the Yemeni economy.

On the global scale, Saudis fear that if Saddam Hussain withdraws quickly and unconditionally, as the UN demands, he will somehow keep his chemical weapons, his missiles and whatever nuclear know-how he has acquired, intact. It is a fear they can live with, however, because thoughtful Saudis, like their brothers in the Gulf, fear the unpredictability of a war which could suddenly pull in Iran, Turkey and Syria, and perhaps quickly split Iraq into three national entities even more unstable than the present volatile mixture of Sunni and Shi'i Arabs, Kurds and half a dozen other minorities.

Like George Bush, most Saudis hope that if Saddam withdraws from Kuwait with little to show for it, and after giving away all the things for which he fought his bloody eight-year war with Iran, the Iraqi people themselves might bring him down. Unless his successor were even worse, that scenario might be the best for all of Iraq's neighbors, and certainly for the United States.

Several participants in the discussion predicted that after Saddam Hussain's actions, misuse of the slogans of "pan-Arabism" and "Islamic unity" by tyrants and demagogues will be more difficult.

"While proclaiming pan-Arabism, Saddam has, for the first time, succeeded in splitting the Arabs into camps of self-perceived `haves' and `have-nots,'" one minister said. He added that Saudi "haves" gave the Iraqi leader between 50 and 70 billion dollars to fight his war with Iran, and Saudi Arabia provides billions annually for Third World development, while Saddam's financial aid goes to corrupt leaders for their Swiss bank accounts. As for Islamic unity, the Saudi said, Saddam's contribution was a war with Muslim Iran and the destruction of Muslim Kuwait by Muslim Iraq.

The participants in this Arab "majlis" discussion made it clear that Saudi Arabia would never forget the role Americans had played in the Kingdom's defense. If the US now follows the example of the European Community and comes to its senses in the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, they declared, the security of such Arab friends as Saudi Arabia and Egypt will be greatly enhanced. It was what we hoped to hear. No matter how angry officials in the oil-producing nations may be with Palestinian leaders, people thoughout the Islamic world, and in Europe, Asia and Africa as well, know that the Palestinian people still deserve the self-determination promised them at the United Nations in 1947. No government in this area so vital to world economic stability will be secure until they get it.

Our Last Stop
Our last stop is Jiddah, once one of the most dreaded assignments in the foreign service and now, in the age of omnipresent air conditioning, one of the most gracious and attractive cities in the Middle East. Our schedule takes us among skyscrapers looming above sparkling Red Sea waters and along broad boulevards with sculptures at every roundabout and lined with residences ranging from comfortable villas to ostentatious palaces.

At our first meeting, with the American Businessmen of Jiddah, we share the spotlight with two newly arrived US military liaison officers. The businessmen, many of whom have lived in Jiddah for a decade or more, are eager to provide home hospitality to US service people. It appears, however, that there are more potential hosts than guests, since the tactical units are on the opposite side of the country.

We learn that, after initial hesitation, newly assigned American businessmen are arriving accompanied by their families, and wives and children who had extended vacations in the US are returning in time to enroll the children in school.

A Mood of Reassurance
A similar mood of reassurance pervades the Saudi businessmen we visit. One almost shamefacedly shows us a fax message just received from one of his companies, reporting it has just enjoyed "the best day in the best month in the best year of the company's history." He adds, "Tomorrow business willprobably be even better, if there is no war.”

He is proud that Saudi Arabia is able to exhibit such incredible generosity to its Kuwaiti guests, help make up the financial losses Turkey is suffering by observing the embargo on Iraqi oil, and has enough left over to cover virtually all of the expenses of Egyptian, Moroccan and other Muslim troops in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is also providing at no cost all of the fuel used by American forces, as well as hotels, bases, buses and a thousand other services made possible by the incredible build-up of civilian infrastructure in his country over the preceding 20 years.

"If your Congress had allowed us to purchase the arms we needed," he said with a slight smile, "with the help of our Arab brothers we might have been able to defend ourselves without any of your troops.”

On the 14-hour nonstop Saudia Airlines flight from Jeddah to New York and Washington, there is time to reflect on the lessons learned by both Americans and Arabs, and the changes to be. Perhaps, after the Gulf crisis of 1990, it is the Middle Eastern policy of the United States that will never again be the same.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Cartoons (Man on edge of cliff, Shamir fires gun)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Iraqi Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Sadiq-Al-Mashat

Curtiss, Richard H. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 11.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218792535?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

It was September 1989, and press attache Abdel Rahman Jamil had just concluded a briefing and dialogue in the Iraqi Embassy for Washington, DC journalists with families of Iraqi prisoners of war still held in Iran, more than a year after the cease-fire that ended the Iran-Iraq war. As lunch was served to the families and journalists, an embassy staff member informed the writer that newly arrived Ambassador Mohammad Al-Mashat had just returned from presenting his credentials to the US government.

Now that he is "authorized" to represent Iraq in the United States, the aide said, he would be happy to meet with you. As I entered his office, Ambassador Al-Mashat, the third Iraqi envoy to Washington since the US and Iraq resumed diplomatic relations in 1984 after a 17-year hiatus, greeted me with a broad smile.

A Seasoned Diplomat
"You are the first American I have met `officially' since my arrival here," he explained. Confident, well groomed and speaking fluent English, he looked every bit the seasoned diplomat beginning a tour at his country's most important embassy after completing successful stints as Iraqi ambassador to France (1982-87), the United Kingdom (1978-81) and Austria (1977-78).

"I hope," I told him sincerely, "that during your tour relations between our countries continue to improve as dramatically as they have in recent years, and that before it is over you have met thousands of Americans as well-disposed toward your country as I am, after living there for three of the happiest years of my life.”

Ironically, only a year later, Ambassador Al-Mashat has been exposed not to thousands but to millions of Americans via his frequent television appearances. Few, however, are at present well-disposed toward his country.

It is not for want of effort on the Iraqi envoy's part. Only a few weeks after our initial meeting I found myself seated in his office among other retired foreign service officers who had served in Iraq, firing critical questions at him prior to his first nationwide television appearance. As we watched him deal suavely with each query in a manner befitting the lawyer he is, our questions became sharper, covering tragic events in the Kurdish village of Halabja, chemical weapons, nuclear programs, and the lack of political freedom in Iraq.

In subsequent months there were at least two more such sessions, one at his home and another in his office, and the circle of his American well-wishers grew as he gamely accepted media invitations, no matter how hostile the host or formidable the moderator. Ironically, however, on the night before his first scheduled appearance at the National Press Club in early 1990 as a guest of the foreign correspondents association, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein called for withdrawal of US naval units from the Persian Gulf.

An occasion on which Ambassador Al-Mashat had hoped to discuss Iraq's newly elected parliament and newly drafted constitution turned into a session with confrontational journalists who wondered why Iraq's strongman ruler was suddenly calling for the departure of American units that had been in the Gulf for decades and that had been strengthened expressly to signal to Iran that the US would not let it win its eight-year-long war with Iraq.

That press conference was a preview of what this outgoing and scholarly Iraqi ambassador, who earned a BA and MA in criminology at the University of California and a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Maryland in 1960, has faced since his country's invasion of Kuwait on Aug. 2. He is superbly equipped by training, experience and personal inclination to portray his country positively to American audiences. He represents an Iraqi government, however, which is isolated and displays little understanding of the West in general and the US in particular.

Fighting an Uphill Battle
Ambassador Al-Mashat therefore fights an uphill battle to put the best face on policies that, from the US, seem unpredictable, inconsistent, and quite likely to further destabilize a Middle East already in turmoil as a result of the initial Iraqi invasion.

Since that invasion, it has been hard-eyed journalists, not well-wishing friends, who have fired questions at this ambassador, who seems able to hold his own with both kinds of inquisitors.

On Aug. 13, less than two weeks after Iraqi soldiers entered Kuwait, Connie Chung asked the Iraqi envoy on the CBS "Face-to-Face" program what assurances he could give that Iraq would not use chemical weapons against the US forces pouring into Saudi Arabia.

"We are concerned for all lives, American, Iraqi or Arab," he told her. "We should try to do everything to make peace. Iraq offered a peace initiative yesterday...President Bush said American forces are there to defend Saudi Arabia whereas we harbor no aggressive design against Saudi Arabia...When we see the size and quality of the American forces, it is obvious that this is an offensive force...If American sovereignty were in question or somebody wanted to attack America...America would use all its means to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we are no different.”

Five days later, on Aug. 18, the Iraqi envoy was questioned by Roland Evans on CNN's "Evans and Novak" show concerning Iraqi President Saddam Hussain's prevention of foreign nationals from leaving Iraq and threat to withhold food from them if the US prevented shipments of food from reaching Iraq.

"Well, when your very existence is threatened unnecessarily," Al-Mashat said, "it is obvious there is a premeditated plan to destroy Iraq...The Israelis are calling on the Americans to hasten this strike against Iraq...When you fight for your country, and for the existence of your country, you have to take all precautionary measures.”

Asked by Robert Novak whether he thought there would be a war, Ambassador Al-Mashat responded earnestly:

"I hope not. But it looks to me that everything bespeaks of war, and an intent to destroy Iraq. We think the Israelis are behind it, from the beginning, in conjunction with other conspirators.”

Ambassador Al-Mashat, who will be 60 on Dec. 15 of this year, developed his ability to make his own points under fire through many years in public life. In addition to his three American university degrees, he took a law degree at Baghdad University in 1950. In Iraq he has held the posts of minister of higher education and scientific research, undersecretary of labor and social affairs, undersecretary of education, and director of fellowships and scholarships. He was also a professor of sociology at Baghdad University and at Mohamed V University in Morocco, and president of Mosul University in Iraq. He is divorced from his first wife, an American, who now lives in Florida. He and his present wife, Sammer Hadid, who is with him in Washington, DC, have two sons and a daughter.

In an Aug. 26 interview with Frank Greve of Knight-Ridder News Service, the Iraqi envoy demonstrated his acumen by pointing out inconsistencies in US foreign policy.

US Inconsistencies
"We said that we were ready to withdraw...Our initiative was that we were willing to talk and respect the Security Council, providing that you do not have a double standard. Israel has been condemned by the Security Council dozens of times, as you know, and still they are occupying the West Bank and the Golan Heights. To us, this is a double standard...We are not the only country, or the last country, to take action against another country when the national interest was at stake...The United States took action in Grenada and Panama...We wanted [Kuwait] to pay us for the oil that they had stolen from us. We wanted to have a final delineation of our borders, and we asked for the lease of two islands, Warba and Bubiyan, because we are almost landlocked and it was strategically important for our security...They refused to even consider it. We felt they were bent on hurting our national interest. So we took military action...We told them we would not take military action so long as negotiations were going on. But the negotiations collapsed, because the conspirators were determined not to yield to very reasonable Iraqi demands...

"I would like to get through to your people that we are the last country in the world to want war. We know what war means. We have fought eight years of war. What shocks us is that we, while fighting all those years against Iran, defending with our blood not only our country but Kuwait and the Gulf and, indirectly, Western interests...we should be rewarded rather than bashed, and now we are being bashed.”

Asked on Aug. 28 by Robert Novak on CNN's "Crossfire" about foreign hostages being held in Iraq, Ambassador Al-Mashat answered succinctly: "If the Security Council gives a guarantee that America will not strike or the United States can give a guarantee they will not strike, everybody will go...They are messengers of peace if they can prevent bloodshed for everybody. You have to realize we are on the brink of catastrophe for everybody...We said we wanted to negotiate and so you should take us up on that.”

Challenged on the same program by Representative Newt Gingrich (R-GA) to withdraw from Kuwait and file Iraq's complaints with the UN and the World Court, the iraqi envoy responded: "This is an Arab problem. We feel that America has no business to be there. We haven't threated you, we haven't taken anything from you.”

Asked by Senator Richard Shelby (D-AL) on the "Crossfire" program about nuclear and chemical weapons, Ambassador Al-Mashat responded:"You know very well we are a signatory to a non-proliferation treaty. Our facilities are subject to International Atomic Energy Agency periodic and continuous inspection...We have only chemical weapons and this is our only weapon of mass destruction...Why not work together on banning weapons of mass destruction in the area by everybody...Who introduced nuclear weapons into the area? It was Israel that has all the nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. This apparently doesn't bother you.”

Still later, on Sept. 19, Ambassador Al-Mashat was back on CNN's "Crossfire," this time answering questions by Patrick Buchanan about the Iraqi government's admission into Baghdad of Mohammad Abu Abbas, whose Palestinian extremist group had hijacked the Achille Lauro.

"He is a member of the executive board of the PLO," the Iraqi ambassador explained. "All of them, as members of the board, can come and go in Iraq. This is not new. This was decided before the Achille Lauro and remains so afterwards. This has nothing to do with terrorism. We are against terrorism...I think all of Iraq is the victim now of a terrorist blockade.”

Asked on the same program by Michael Kinsley about reports of "a reign of terror," and looting in Kuwait, Ambassador Al-Mashat branded the reports "absolutely not true," "absolutely false," and "absolutely wrong.”

When Kinsley, a frequent critic of the Bush administration, asked would" different policies by the United States have dissuaded your government from invading Kuwait on Aug. 2nd?" the Iraqi ambassador easily sidestepped any foray into US domestic politics, and returned to his own country's themes.

"A Very Independent Country”

"Listen," he said, "we are a very independent country -- very much independent. We are proud of our independence. A signal or no signal would not change our minds. We went into Kuwait because our national interest was at stake. They were bent on hurting and collapsing our economy...We suspected there was something fishy going on that led the Kuwaiti regime to be so intransigent and resistant to any viable negotiation.”

In addition to his mastery of American colloquialisms, the Iraqi ambassador has sometimes been able to blunt criticism with a touch of humor. Pressed by Buchanan, who can be as critical of Israel as of Arab countries, concerning Iraq's alleged use of poison gas in 1988 in the Kurdish front-line village of Halabja during one of the climactic closing battles of the Iraq-Iran war, Al-Mashat first responded, "Even you, Brutus.”

Then, after laughter from his interrogators, he moved in for the kill: "Don't you follow the news of The Washington Post?" he demanded. He reminded Buchanan that only three months earlier Washington's major daily newspaper had attributed to Pentagon sources a report that it was Iran, not Iraq, that was responsible for some, if not all, of the deaths by poison gas of Halabja's Kurdish residents.

Asked then by Buchanan if Iraq had ever used "chemical weapons or poison gas against the Kurdish people at all," the Iraqi envoy responded categorically: "Absolutely not and I defy anyone to produce a single victim.”

Whatever his listeners think of his president, his cause, and some of his answers, few would disapprove Ambassador Al-Mashat's final response in his Sept. 19 appearance, when he was asked by Buchanan whether he expected "a war with the United States within the next month.”

"That depends on the United States," he responded. "I hope not. Let us work for peace. Let us work together to have a dialogue.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (Dr. Mohammad Sadiq-Al-Mashat)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Danger in Kashmir

Shah, Mowahid H. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 13.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796264?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

While the world braces for a showdown in the Persian Gulf, at the Pakistani back door of the Gulf there is growing concern that the Kashmir uprising may erupt into an Indo-Pakistan war. This time around, it conceivably could be a confrontation with a nuclear edge.

Since January 1990, the Muslim-majority valley of Kashmir has been in the grip of an unprecedented pro-independence uprising against Indian rule. Pakistan says the uprising is indigenous in origin. India charges it is fomented by Islamabad.

In fact the seeds of the conflict were sown in 1846, when the British sold Kashmir, for 7.5 million rupees, as a reward to Gulab Singh, a Hindu who had assisted and advised the British in their successful war to wrest control of northern India from the Sikhs. Gulah Singh, who had been appointed Raja of Jammu by the Sikhs some 25 years earlier, declared himself maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. The rule of the maharaja's Hindu family in overwhelmingly Muslim Kashmir was not a happy one. Nevertheless, Kashmir stayed under its control until 1947.

Sitting on the Fence
In June of that year, the British government announced the partition of British India into Pakistan and India. The expectation was that Muslim-majority provinces would go to Pakistan, while Hindu-majority provinces would go to India. When the Hindu maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, who hoped to sit on the fence, found a Muslim insurgent movement growing under him that summer, he brutally tried to put it down. On August 15, 1947. the Jammu and Kashmir (called Kashmir for short) government signed a standstill agreement with the newly formed state of Pakistan, under which Pakistan agreed to assume the responsibilities of running Kashmiri communications, postal, and telegraph services. Formally, however, Kashmir acceded neither to Pakistan nor to India.

In October 1947, as reports of massacres of Muslims in Kashmir spread, Muslim Pathan tribesmen from the Northwest Frontier adjoining Afghanistan crossed into Kashmir. The maharaja frantically appealed to the Indian government for help. He was turned down and informed that, unless Kashmir acceded to India, Indian troops would not be provided. On October 25, 1947, with tribesmen and local forces converging on him, the maharaja fled, with his wife and son, from Srinagar, Kashmir's capital. The next day he signed an Instrument of Accession to India. Almost immediately, Indian troops were airlifted into Kashmir.

Significantly, the Indian government accepted the maharaja's accession with the stipulation that the question of Kashmir's accession should be settled by a referendum of the people. Just a month before, in September 1947, Junagadh, a princely state with a Muslim ruling family and a predominantly Hindu population, had acceded to Pakistan. Two days later, Indian troops encircled Junagadh. In November, the Indian army invaded and occupied the state. Later, in February 1948, the Indian government held a plebiscite in Junagadh under its supervision, resulting in an overwhelming vote for accession to India and, in January 1949, Junagadh was incorporated into India.

The Indian government's stipulation with respect to Kashmir's accession, therefore, seems to have presaged what India had in mind for Junagadh. It may not be entirely coincidental that India's enthusiasm for a plebiscite in Kashmir (whose populace presumably would have voted to join Pakistan) dried up just as soon as Junagadh was safely folded into India.

Pakistan's Challenge
Pakistan immediately challenged India's acceptance of the maharaja of Kashmir's accession instrument as illegal, declaring that it had been "based on fraud and violence" and, therefore, could not be recognized. Within months, the dispute was brought to the United Nations. In January 1948, the UN Security Council heard arguments from both India and Pakistan. India's representative, G. Ayyengar, reiterated many times to the Security Council that India believed that the Kashmir dispute should be settled by a plebiscite conducted under international auspices. This sentiment reflected an earlier statement of India's prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, that a plebiscite should be conducted in Kashmir under international auspices, such as the United Nations. Pakistan's Prime Minister had himself proposed such an idea in November 1947.

Ultimately, on January 5, 1949, a UN Security Council resolution declared that both India and Pakistan had agreed to a free and impartial plebiscite to be held in Kashmir under UN auspices. To this end, Admiral Chester Nimitz of the United States was appointed as supervisor of the would-be plebiscite. A UN delegation was dispatched in February 1949 to the Indian subcontinent to prepare the plebiscite.

The preparations did not get very far. The Indian representative, Sir Girja S. Bajpai, told the delegation that India's acceptance of the plebiscite was subject to the disarming and disbanding of Kashmiris from the Free Kashmir movement, who earlier had revolted against the maharaja.

A Lost Momentum
According to a member of the UN Commission for India and Pakistan, Josef Korbel, the January 5, 1949 resolution, to which India had agreed, had not qualified the holding of the plebiscite on any such condition. Nevertheless, India now was adamant. Unless the local Free Kashmir forces were disarmed and disbanded, there would be no referendum. In the view of Mr. Korbel, who, ironically, was India's nominee to the five-man UN commission, implementation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir was defeated "especially...by a lack of good will on the part of India." The momentum that had been building toward a free and fair plebiscite for Kashmir was lost, never to be regained.

For years, the issue of Kashmir has been on ice. Now, however, a restive and militant youth, perhaps galvanized by the breeze of self-determination which has swept aside Communist oligarchies in Eastern Europe, is unwilling to accept Kashmir as an appendage of India any longer.

The Kashmir resistance has been labeled by the Indian government as "terrorist," "Islamic fundamentalist" and "Pakistan-sponsored" to deprive it of Western sympathy. However, a leading Indian commentator, Karan Thapar, writing in the Times of London (April 25, 1990), concludes that what exists in Kashmir "is an unstructured and often spontaneous movement" for which "the real causes lie at home" and, for India, "the loss of Kashmir, its only Muslim-majority province, would undermine India's self-image as a secular republic." Yet blaming Pakistan strikes a responsive chord in Delhi.

The defiance of the Kashmiri Muslims, according to Indian human rights groups, has been met by human rights violations by Indian forces. The India-based Committee for Initiative on Kashmir this July released an 80-page report titled "Kashmir Imprisoned." It documents that the Indian security forces in Kashmir have killed, maimed, molested, and raped women at will. The report further states that the Indian security forces in Kashmir have been given vast and extraordinary powers to search, seize, and arrest, powers which it asserts are being used with "gay abandon.”

Outrage on Capitol Hill
Such was the sense of outrage on Capitol Hill that Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana introduced a bill (HR 4641), co-sponsored by 57 members of Congress, which conditions the release of US developmental aid to India upon Indian permission for international human fights organizations to monitor the human rights situation in Kashmir. A congressional hearing on human rights in South Asia on July 18, 1990 took detailed testimony on what Delegate Faleomavega of American Samoa characterized as "atrocious human rights violations carried out by official law enforcement personnel" in Kashmir.

Superpower disengagement from the subcontinent has left the field open for more shooting. By sending troops to join the US-led military effort against Iraq, Pakistan has obliged the United States with the hope that the huge military presence in the Persian Gulf region may serve as an indirect deterrent to any Indian ambition to attack Pakistan. This is complicated, however, by an attempt led by Stephen Solarz, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs. In a September 19, 1990 letter to President Bush, Solarz urged that all US military and economic aid to Pakistan be cut off because of Pakistan's alleged nuclear activities.

In the meantime, Kashmiris speculate on how the Gulf crisis, as well as the October 24 national elections in Pakistan, will affect their independence movement.

The current crisis is rooted in the fact that more than 40 years ago Kashmir was promised a plebiscite under UN auspices which has not yet been carried out. The United Nations should be the proper forum for giving the Kashmiri people an opportunity to exercise their democratic right of self-determination, under applicable UN resolutions.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



$7.3 Billion Saudi Arms Purchase Approved in Wake of Iraqi Invasion

Wamsted, Dennis J. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 15.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218792474?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Beset by intense partisan bickering over the federal budget deficit and spending levels for fiscal year 1991 (which began Oct. 1), Congress stumbled toward adjournment in October, with the 1990 elections looming the first week of November. Along the way, aftershocks from Iraq's August invasion of Kuwait continued to rumble through both the House and Senate.

The Sale
The US passed a milestone in its relations with Saudi Arabia in late October when Congress failed to object to a $7.3-billion arms sale to the Kingdom proposed by the administration in September. The sale, which is the first part of a planned two-part arms package, includes a host of advanced US weapons, including the M-1A2 tank -- the most advanced tank in the US arsenal -- and the Patriot anti-aircraft missile.

Despite its size, the sale provoked little more than a peep from Israel's backers on Capitol Hill -- even though the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its supporters have traditionally sought to block all sales to Saudi Arabia, no matter how justified. Rep. Mel Levine (D-CA), one of the most vocal opponents of such arms, was one of the few congressmen who did complain about the size of the package at an early October hearing on the proposal.

The California Democrat, who has received more than $13,430 from pro-Israel political action committees (PACs) during his current re-election campaign, giving him a career total of $53,730 in such funds, was particularly critical of the administration's decision to include the advanced M-1 tanks in the sale, arguing that these weapons should be removed from the current package since they could not be delivered for at least two years -- presumably long after the immediate crisis with Iraq is resolved. "Much of it [the sale] has nothing to do with the current crisis in Kuwait," Levin said at the October hearing.

Notwithstanding his criticism, many congressmen, including a number on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, obviously agree with the administration's argument that the sale, with the tanks included, is needed to prevent a recurrence of the current Iraqi crisis. This administration position was articulated by Reginald Bartholomew, undersecretary of state for security assistance, and Paul Wolfowitz, undersecretary of defense for policy, during testimony before two House Foreign Affairs subcommittees on Oct. 3.

The sale is just one "of a series of steps in assisting nations in the area, not only in the current crisis, but in building lasting stability in the region," Bartholomew told the panels. The goal of this strategy, he added, is "to build a Saudi and a Gulf force capability that will, in effect, drive up significantly the costs to anybody looking to take a whack at them.”

Wolfowitz added that the additional arms in the administration's proposed sales would give the Saudis enough military strength " to slow and perhaps stop an attacking army long enough for reinforcements to arrive. The fundamental reality is that there is a basic imbalance between the Arabian peninsula countries in which we have vital interests and their two larger, stronger and frequently hostile states [Iraq and Iran] to the north.”

Turning specifically to the M-1 tanks, Wolfowitz said that they were an integral part of the administration's long-term strategy for Saudi Arabia's defense. "We had a severe concern about the ability of Iraqi armor to penetrate and penetrate quickly," the DOD official told the House panels. Added State's Bartholomew: "We do not want to leave the road to Bahrain open, as it was on the second of August.”

Finally, both administration officials denied that the proposed sales would cut into Israel's highly cherished qualitative military advantage. "We firmly believe that the risks [the Saudi] sale poses to Israel are minimal," Wolfowitz told the panels.

The Future Outlook
The September sale, by far the largest single US sale to the Kingdom since the AWACS deal in the early 1980s, establishes a positive precedent for additional sales, which are expected as soon as the 102nd Congress convenes in January. Although still unannounced, the next sale is expected to include much of what was removed from the first deal, including additional advanced fighter jets such as the F-15, additional Patriot anti-aircraft batteries, and more tanks, as well as extra anti-armor weapons.

Israel's US lobby will almost certainly launch a more vocal campaign against such a sale, particularly since it would seemingly undercut Israeli air superiority. But the tide may well have turned against AIPAC and its congressional supporters on the issue of sales of military hardware. Lack of a credible deterrent in Saudi Arabia forced the US to intervene following the Iraqi invasion, and many congressmen are likely to want to avoid a repeat of that costly commitment.

In addition, Saudi Arabia has demonstrated its willingness to turn to other suppliers to secure the advanced weaponry it deems necessary for the Kingdom's defense. Denied jet fighters by opposition from the pro-Israel lobby in the US Congress, Saudi Arabia turned to Great Britain in the late 1980s to purchase Tornado jets and other aircraft in a deal that cost the US economy billions of dollars in forgone revenues and ended the enviable US position as the sole supplier of aircraft to the Saudi Air Force. Should renewed opposition in the US stymie another deal, Saudi Arabia would almost certainly turn again to England for additional aircraft.

Egyptian Debt
As expected, the administration's plan to forgive Egypt's pressing military debt to the US, which now totals about $7 billion, sparked opposition in Congress, particularly in the House, where members worried that a vote to forgive the debt would trigger a backlash among voters just prior to the November elections.

Consequently, during consideration of the fiscal 1990 foreign aid appropriations legislation, the House refused to approve the administration proposal. Instead, the House voted to give Egypt a temporary waiver from repaying its loans, while deferring action on a permanent debt write-off measure.

By contrast, in the Senate, the Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee backed the administration and added the debt-forgiveness measure to its foreign aid bill.

The measure's ultimate fate remains uncertain at this point, although one intriguing possibility has surfaced during recent Capitol Hill discussions. That is: Congress would act to authorize the president to forgive the Egyptian debt, forcing Bush to take the political heat for the move, which could be highly unpopular given the precarious state of the US economy. According to current law, the president does not have the authority to forgive debts contracted by foreign governments with the US.

Israel Rewarded
In the first overt sign that Congress intends to reward Israel for its role in the Gulf crisis, the Senate Appropriations panel also approved a measure enabling that country to spend upward of $200 million of its economic aid (currently set at $1.2 billion) for military purposes, in addition to Israel's annual $1.8 billion grant for military assistance. The measure was drafted by Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), one of Israel's most ardent supporters, and passed without dissent.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



If Marines Die in the Gulf, Let's Place the Blame Where It Belongs

McCloskey, Paul N. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 16.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218794598?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

In a poignant protest a few weeks ago, in the August 23 New York Times, the father of a young Marine en route to the Persian Gulf wrote that he would not forgive President Bush if his son were killed retaking Kuwait.

The writer might well have considered that the Congress of the United States will be the culpable party.

If young Marines die in Kuwait, they will die as Marines have always died, in the service of their country's policies, right or wrong. Belleau Woods, Iwo Jima and the Naktong Perimeter have been matched by other places, Nicaragua, Lebanon and Haiti, where the righteousness of US policy has not always been clear.

Congress vs. Three US Presidents
If Marines die in retaking Kuwait pursuant to the United Nations resolutions requiring the removal of Iraqi occupation, the blind obeisance of Congress to the Israeli lobby these past 15 years will be to blame far more than the policies of the Bush administration. Since Camp David, three US presidents have tried to get Israel to recognize UN resolutions and international law on the Palestinian question, only to be frustrated by Congressional adherence to Israel's powerful lobby in the United States. That frustration has created the climate of which Iraqi President Saddam Hussain now takes advantage.

The single greatest reason for the current crisis in the Gulf is the identification of the United States with continuing Israeli intransigence on the Palestinian question. Saddam Hussain can well ask why he should leave Kuwait if Israel is permitted to remain on the West Bank and in Gaza.

Twenty-three years have elapsed since the adoption of Resolution 242 by the United Nations Security Council calling for Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian and Syrian territories occupied in 1967, in exchange for Arab acknowledgment of Israel's right to exist within secure and recognized borders. All of the Arab states bordering or near Israel have indicated acquiescence to its terms, as has PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat.

The commitment of American troops to Saudi Arabia, like the stationing of American Marines in Beirut in 1982, has been necessitated directly by US failure to back up Resolution 242.

There is one thing, and only one thing, that unites all Arabs...the understandable and honorable belief that their Palestinian brethren are entitled to self-determination and an end to Israeli occupation.

Because of congressional actions, the US is seen in the Arab world as speaking with a forked tongue, espousing the fundamental principle of non-aggression against Iraq, but at the same time not only condoning but financing Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza and the Syrian Golan Heights.

We have to confess the Arabs have a point. Israel is no longer a reliable ally, but a potential enemy.

More than 250 Marines died in Lebanon because Israel reneged on its promise to US negotiator Phil Habib that if the PLO military forces left Beirut, the women and children they left behind in Lebanese refugee camps would not be molested.

It was Israeli support which enabled the massacres at Sabra and Shatilla to occur in September 1982 and led to President Reagan's decision to send Marines back to Beirut to protect the Palestinian dependents. If we on the one hand seek to unite world support against Saddam Hussain's seizure of Kuwait, we should also make an honest attempt to redress Israeli injustice to Palestinians.

It is as valuable to our goals to deny allies to President Hussain as it is to obtain world support for the UN's fundamental principle that no nation should ever again seize and occupy the lands of another by force. Palestinian forces, or at least a Palestinian Red Crescent hospital unit, should be serving alongside the US troops just as Colombians, French, Greeks and Turks served in Korea 40 years ago.

Support of Israel's security should not require support of Israel's aggression and inhumanity to Palestinians. The current government in Israel is as inhumane as any in the world today, including that of South Africa.

Israel is maiming and denying the future to a whole generation of Palestinians, and as the Arabs see it, doing so with American backing and American money, $3.5 billion per year.

This is not the fault of the administration but of Congress. It has to be said that individual members of Congress are terrified and literally immobilized by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobby directed by the presidents of 33 national Jewish organizations in the US.

The examples of congressional placing of Israeli interests ahead of US interests are legion: The US lost 20,000 jobs by funding Israel's Lavi Fighter. By increasing aid to Israel after Israel's invasion of Lebanon and the massacres at Sabra and Shatilla, Congress infuriated 100 million Arabs and jeopardized the stability of every moderate Arab government which is identified with US interests.

Is it any wonder the Arabs are divided in supporting US military action against Saddam Hussain when the US is supporting Israel's inhumanity and aggression with $3.5 billion a year?

Time to Stand Up to Israel
It's time Congress stood up to Israel. A lot of fine Americans have died or been taken hostage because of Israeli intransigence and brutality. A lot more may die to uphold that basic and precious principle established with the founding of the United Nations in 1945, that no nation should ever again invade and occupy another's territory by force.

That principle is the one principle worth fighting for in today's world. More than 50,000 Americans died as part of the UN peacekeeping force in the Korean War of 1950-53, and this could happen again in the retaking of Kuwait in 1990.

Hussain's seizure of Kuwait recalls Hitler's seizure of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia. We learned the lesson then that aggression must be stopped, with military force if necessary, lest the world once again be faced with the natural tendency of military dictatorships to seize the territory of their neighbors.

The United Nations and world peace under world law, after 5,000 years of recorded warfare, are worth fighting for. But the fight requires consistency of principle. Iraq must be forced out of Kuwait and Israel forced out of the occupied territories of Palestine and Syria. It is hypocrisy to demand one but not the other. The hypocrisy is not that of the president, but that of Congress.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Palestinian Moderates Lose Ground

Goodman, Russell W. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 19.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218797776?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Even before Saddam Hussain sent his troops into Kuwait on August 2 and divided the Arab world, the Palestine Liberation Organization was facing divisions within its own ranks.

Support for moderates who courted better ties with the West was eroding in favor of more militant factions that saw themselves no closer through diplomacy to a homeland. That erosion has only intensified since the invasion, and radicals inside the PLO have won thousands of converts among their ranks. So much so that by mid-September, leaders of extremist PLO factions felt bold enough at a meeting in Jordan to call for strikes against US targets throughout the world.

Moderation or Violence?

When Palestine President Yasser Arafat silenced the extremists within his ranks and recognized Israel in Geneva in 1988, the question became which of the two policies would succeed in getting peace negotiations underway: the one chosen by moderates or the threat of violence.

Since then, events have worked in favor of militants such as Abul Abbas and Abu Nidal, and against more moderate elements inside the hierarchy of the PLO.

Two prominent Palestinian moderates, one in Jerusalem and one living in exile in Amman, say they and many others would prefer to sit down with responsible Israelis and negotiate a lasting peace. But each said the absence of any tangible gains or concessions from the Jewish state in the last two years had only served to strengthen the hardliners, so that by the time the current crisis broke out in the Gulf, Palestinian moderates had almost lost their influence.

Dr. Alfred Toubasi, a member of the Palestine National Council (PNC), helped broker the PLO decision to recognize Israel and to renounce terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens.

Just before Saddam Hussain invaded his southern neighbor, Toubasi was worried that moderates were losing power inside the PLO and that a new meeting of the council might be called to re-think its position of compromise with Israel and the West.

Although that meeting was not called, several Middle East newspapers reported that Ararat sent a congratulatory telegram to Saddam shortly after the August 2 invasion. In the early days of the Gulf standoff he also criticized Kuwait's emir for not doing enough for the Palestinian cause. Meanwhile, Saddam made himself a hero among Palestinians when he linked Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza with his own occupation of Kuwait by saying that any peace conference should take up both issues.

In late September, however, in a sign that PLO moderates might be regaining lost ground, PLO foreign affairs adviser Bassam Abu Sharif denied that the PLO had supported Iraq.

"Has anyone produced one thing to show that the PLO ever supported Iraq's invasion of Kuwait?" Abu Sharif said in a recent interview from PLO offices in Tunis. The PLO does not support the invasion, but it opposes foreign troops on Arab soil, he said. Abu Sharif said the PLO was seeking an Arab solution that would prevent a catastrophe in the region.

During the first weeks of the crisis, it is true that Arafat tried to serve as peacemaker, formulating a plan that would have Iraqi and foreign forces withdraw, to be replaced by "Arab peace forces." He, along with the Soviet Union, called for an international conference to address all Middle East problems.

Arafat's efforts were generally ignored by the United States, angered over the PLO's support for Saddam Hussain. But the Palestinians' initial tilt toward Saddam and against the West was shaped by many factors, some of which occurred just before the crisis.

The United States had suspended talks with the PLO after guerrillas loyal to Abul Abbas staged an unsuccessful raid on the Israeli coast. The attack was apparently to be in retaliation for the murder of seven Palestinian workers in the Arab village of Rishon Lezion on May 20.

"Till now, we were going along with the moderates looking for peace," Toubasi said after the break in the dialogue with the US.

"But there could be a change now. If we don't see a way paved for a political solution, we will be in a difficult situation and we will have to reconsider our policy.”

Toubasi settled in Ramallah in the West Bank when Israelis forced his family out of their home in the Mediterranean coast city of Jaffa. A dentist, Toubasi was president of the Palestinian Dental Association and on the board of trustees of Bir Zeit University in the West Bank when he was uprooted again and deported in 1974.

Despite his personal history, Toubasi maintained his moderate stance. He is an independent member of the PNC, not formally aligned with any of the various factions represented.

"Most of the moderates and I are the people who convinced the PLO to agree in 1988 to recognize Israel, to accept the two-state solution, to renounce terrorism and to live in peace with Israel," he said.

But the Israeli failure to respond in kind to the softening in PLO policy created a clamor within the organization's ranks to reassess strategy.

Another moderate, Radwan Abu Ayyash, had been mentioned as a possible negotiator for peace talks with Israel. He was known as someone whom the Palestinians could trust and the Israelis could talk to -- even though they imprisoned him several times.

After the May 20 massacre, Abu Ayyash and others in Jerusalem began a hunger strike in protest. He said his hopes for a peaceful resolution had been dashed.

Dashed Hopes
Abu Ayyash, born in a refugee camp near Nablus, said he always viewed himself as a realist who believed that "halfa loaf is better than none.”

"But now," he said, after assessing attitudes in the occupied territories and in Ramallah where he lives, "it seems hope for peace has vanished.”

Abu Ayyash is president of the Arab Journalists Association. He faulted Israel's hardline government for trying to find or create an alternative to the PLO. He calls the government's efforts a "dream.”

Ninety-five percent of the Palestinian population supports the PLO, he said. "The PLO is the national conscience of the Palestinian people. PLO is the identity of the Palestinians.”

And in an interview just before Kuwait fell, Abu Ayyash added as a warning: "Unless we see signs of peace, I'm afraid we will see a shift to more violence among Palestinians.”

Those signs of peace did not come. Instead the region is close to a devastating war, with Palestinians laying all of their hopes on Saddam Hussain's defiance. Therefore, if Saddam fails, the long-suffering Palestinians could be among the biggest losers.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



What Happens to the Palestinians After the Gulf Crisis? -- Two Views: PLO Should Have Heeded Klibi

Tahboub, Ghassan. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 20.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218797652?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

In his letter of resignation from the Arab League General Secretariat, Mr. Chadli Klibi advised Palestine Liberation Organization leaders not to make another mistake by involving themselves in inter-Arab conflicts. Such advice from a man who has spent a decade in the arena of Arab politics was also intended as a polite suggestion to the PLO leadership to extricate itself from the dilemma in which it has become involved by allying itself with the Iraqi regime, and by its silence on the invasion of Kuwait.

The PLO leadership did not heed the advice, however, and instead escalated its political exposure. Unfortunately, its suicidal move is dragging the Palestinian cause with it. The Palestinians who live in many different countries are destined to bear the consequences, since the PLO in 1974 was declared by the Arab states the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

But the Palestinians are not responsible for these policies, as the PLO leadership never consulted them in this regard. Nor did anyone ask their opinion about this leadership which has done nothing better, in all its history, than play on the agonies of the Palestinians, and misuse them. Now it is misleading the Palestinians into believing that an end to the occupation of Kuwait can be linked to ending Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is doing so despite the fact that it was the Palestinian cause which received the second direct stab from the Iraqi invasion, after the stab of Kuwait and its people. The PLO should have asked itself why the Iraqi regime did not send its troops to fight Israel, if it is really concerned about ending the occupation of Arab lands.

The PLO has used the phrase "The PLO is the homeland of the Palestinians." But the calculations of the "moral homeland" have overshadowed those of the" Palestine Geography," and the intifada. How else could the Palestinian leadership place at risk the international successes achieved by the intifada, and the assistance offered to the intifada and the Palestinian people by the Gulf countries and the Palestinian expatriates in the Gulf?.

On what basis has Arafat now adopted the precepts of the Iraqi Baath party, and embroiled the Palestinian cause in the hell unleashed by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait? How could Arafat justify his failure to condemn the invasion and occupation of Kuwait when international legitimacy is one of the most effective tools of the Palestinian struggle? And at a time when international legitimacy has clearly announced its position toward the occupation of Kuwait with an unprecedented unanimity? These are indications that international legitimacy is "gaining teeth" which could ultimately benefit the Palestinian cause.

The Arab nation has always complained about the failure to implement UN Security Council resolutions. Now an important precedent is arising from the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. This will surely benefit those who respect and comply with international legitimacy. It is unacceptable to withhold that respect in the case of Kuwait, and demand it for the occupied territories. All moral principles upon which human values are based demand that every Arab should condemn the means chosen by the Iraqi regime. We should also reject the occupation of an Arab country by an Arab army, destruction of its institutions, and deprivation of its people of their homes. Even if some Arab regimes have different points of view, "the PLO regime" headed by Ararat should have no other point of view than to condemn and reject the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, and call for ending it through peaceful means within the Arab nations.

The Price of Errors
The Palestinian cause has entered into the dark labyrinth of the Iraqi invasion, the intifada has retreated to the bottom of international priorities, and the PLO has lost its credibility by abandoning the principle of "the illegitimacy of the occupation." Beyond that, the Palestinian leadership has put the fate of a million Palestinians in the Arab Gulf countries in peril, and deprived them of privileges offered in sympathy with their just cause, respect for their people's struggle, and in consideration for their role in supporting this struggle. The position of the "Palestinian leadership" has brought a dangerous change in the situation of the Palestinians.

It is true that third parties have precipitated this change by fabricating news, and escalating individual incidents or making generalizations about all Palestinians. But the main responsibility falls on the Palestinian leadership. The support extended by this leadership for the Iraqi regime, and its failure to condemn the invasion bluntly, has created misgivings that the Palestinians in Kuwait might support the Iraqi invasion. These misgivings have been fed from various sources, many of them Western, but the Palestinian leadership's position has paved the way for acceptance of such news, without any verification of its content and sources.

In my opinion the Kuwait-based Palestinians are against the Iraqi invasion, because they are as much victims of it as their Kuwaiti brethren. The Palestinians have a long history in Kuwait which pre-dates the discovery of oil. The first Palestinian educational mission arrived in Kuwait 52 years ago, in 1938. Since then, Palestinians have forged strong ties with Kuwait and its people, and were provided with due care and security in return.

Hundreds of Palestinians were offered Kuwaiti nationality, and some of them were among the first Kuwaiti ambassadors. They also participated in the construction of the banking system, and foreign investments, which now constitute one of the main Kuwaiti assets for facing the Iraqi invasion.

How could the Palestinians, who are well established financially and psychologically in Kuwait, sacrifice this situation for the sake of a transitory occupation, which has impoverished them, deprived them of all their properties, made them unable to assist their relatives and dependents in the occupied territories, and thus has put their stability and security at stake? The Palestinians could avoid this dangerous dilemma if they had wise leadership that put their interests above all other national considerations, and rejected occupation and interference in the affairs of others.

The Palestinian leadership should condemn the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. It should, in fact, go further by moving its offices from Baghdad: If the "Palestinian geography" is the base of Palestinian resistance, then Baghdad is the same as Tunisia and the Yemen.

The present position of the Palestinian leadership toward the occupation of Kuwait is shameful indeed!
Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



What Happens to the Palestinians After the Gulf Crisis? -- Two Views: Betting on the Losing Horse

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 21.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218797698?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

By siding with the aggressor in the current Gulf crisis, the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization has voluntarily relinquished the gains it has achieved during the past three years. For no obvious reason, it has damaged the credibility it had built up through a series of remarkable decisions reached during the unfolding of the Palestinian intifada.

This popular uprising represented the first truly independent decision taken by the Palestinians themselves since their abortive six-month strike in 1936 against mass Jewish immigration into Palestine. Between 1936 and the decision to pursue, methodically and by nonlethal means, the spontaneous popular revolt against Israeli occupation that erupted on Dec. 9, 1987, there were no decisions reached by the Palestinians as a whole.

Decisions to suspend resistance to British rule during World War II, to resist the partition of Palestine in 1947 and the expansion of Jewish areas in 1948, and to participate or abstain from all of the twists and turns in Middle Eastern affairs that followed, were generally reached by outside powers and imposed upon the Palestinian masses, with or without the support of small portions of the Palestinian elite. Most of these decisions also were opposed by rival Palestinian groupings. This tendency to trust the promises or motives of outsiders, and disregard or actively oppose the wishes of other Palestinians, attended every subsequent development, and turned post-1936 Palestinian history into a chronicle of catastrophic failures. Then, at last, came the intifada.

It has engendered overwhelming international support for the PLO during the past two years. This has been coupled with a breakthrough, achieved by the intifada, in international public opinion in general, and in the US in particular.

All of this indicated that the approach followed by the PLO and the Palestinian masses under occupation ever since December 1987 was the right approach. The PLO is accepted by the world community at large, and its demands are consistent with the new international order. The Palestinians have become acceptable, and their cause has gained world understanding.

Now, however, by siding with Iraq in order to prevent its radical Palestinian rivals from undercutting its support from the Palestinian masses, the mainstream Palestinian leadership has forfeited these gains. World support for the Palestinian intifada is based on the principle of the inadmissibility of acquisition by one state of the territories of another by military force, just as Israel had done in 1967.

Under international law, the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait is in no way dissimilar to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, irrespective of any justifications offered by the occupiers.

So, by supporting this Iraqi move, which violates and contravenes established international law, the PLO leadership has contradicted itself, and rendered a great service to the Israelis. The United States and its allies, by mobilizing their forces to reverse the Iraqi aggression, are providing an invaluable service to the Palestinian cause by defending international law and the principle of inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force.

If this aggression is reversed, as it will be, this will set a very strong precedent for addressing the Palestinian issue within the framework of settling regional conflicts already underway in this post-Cold War era.

The PLO leadership should have realized these implications before betting on the losing horse.

In taking sides with the aggressor, the PLO leadership, which has shown some pragmatism before, has also overlooked another important factor, namely the Palestinians.

In addition to between 300,000 and 400,000 Palestinians in Kuwait, a much larger number presently are working in the Gulf countries. The stance taken by the PLO has adversely affected them, just because the PLO has been accepted both by those countries and the Palestinians everywhere as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians. Whatever actions Yasser Arafat and the PLO take affect the Palestinian people everywhere.

Palestinians in the Gulf were fully supporting the US-PLO dialogue as a channel for eventually reaching a mutually acceptable compromise to the Palestinian issue. The Palestinians in the Gulf, therefore, were not happy when the PLO criticized contacts between the Arab states in the Gulf and the United States which resulted in the mobilization of allied forces to defend international legitimacy. If PLO leaders have forgotten, Palestinians in the Gulf recall that establishment of such legitimacy in Palestine is the objective that the PLO has called upon the US to help in realizing.

The Palestinians in the Gulf feel that the PLO should have supported UN resolutions regarding the Gulf crisis. The unanimity shown by the permanent members of the UN Security Council, in the present international climate, could be just as effective, the next time, in addressing the Palestinian issue. The PLO, therefore, should have taken the side of the United Nations, the supreme international body under whose umbrella regional conflicts should be settled.

The legitimacy which the PLO enjoys at present is not the result of Arab League action only, but that of the United Nations. The PLO, therefore, should not have betrayed the United Nations by supporting aggression. The PLO also should not have become involved in a mediating role to reach a compromise solution to the Gulf crisis inconsistent with UN resolutions. If the aggressor in this case were allowed to keep the territories, or part of the territories, it has occupied by force, then why shouldn't Israel be permitted to do the same in the territories it occupied by force in 19677 Just as President Saddam Hussain of Iraq wrongly assessed the international situation when he invaded Kuwait, the PLO leadership likewise miscalculated the pros and cons. Thus it found itself confronting the same world opinion which it for so long sought to woo and win to the side of self-determination and legitimate rights in the case of the Palestinians under occupation. If the PLO doesn't reconsider its position, and it is not too late to do so, then Israel could be the greatest winner in this inter-Arab crisis. The Iraqi aggressor is doomed to fall and Iraqi aggression will be reversed irrespective of the demographic and administrative changes being effected in Kuwait, which are similar to the demographic and administrative changes undertaken by Israel in the occupied territories.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



"Beyond Survival": The American University of Beirut

Larwood, Elaine. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 23.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796338?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The American University of Beirut, the oldest American institution in the Middle East, is in trouble. Like Lebanon itself, mention of AUB usually gives pause. Beirut? American? How could any institution, particularly American, survive in Beirut?

But survive it does and with a good deal of courage and panache, plus a measure of necessary compromise. Balancing problems against potential, the university's administration has concluded that AUB is somewhere "beyond survival.”

"A Mere $8-Million Deficit”

"We are working on the premise that a university that is 124 years old cannot simply succumb to stagnation and inactivity because of a mere $8-million deficit," AUB's Deputy President Dr. Ibrahim Salti declared recently.

Founded by American missionaries in 1866, the Syrian Protestant College, as AUB was then known, advocated freedom of thought that allowed the individual to choose his religion, politics and way of life. Such ideas, new to the Middle East, attracted the nucleus of intellectuals and activists who later became catalysts for the Arab nationalist movement.

AUB's impact on life in Lebanon and the region was major. It could even be said that AUB created Ras Beirut, the area around the university where Christians and Muslims lived together in harmony before 1975, and where most of the American and European residents of Beirut lived and worked. Dr. Samir Khalaf, AUB professor of sociology now living in Princeton, says neither would have been possible without the other.

"What would have happened," Dr. Khalaf asks in his book, Lebanon's Predicament, "had not Daniel Bliss first laid eyes on this deserted stretch of sand dunes and wild cactus and persuaded the American Board of Commission for Foreign Missions to transform the `city's garbage dump' into the site of what has become the most distinguished American academic institution in the Middle East?”

In 1991 the university will celebrate its 125th anniversary. The very presence of AUB on Lebanese soil for more than a hundred years has been a positive factor in East-West relations.

But is AUB really American? The University's Director of Information, Radwan Mawlawi, gave a clear opinion in 1983: "AUB is American in name only. Since its founding it has been serving generations of Lebanese and Arab students. It is American because its degrees are accredited by the state of New York.”

While this and similar statements might reflect the "realpolitik" of a university adapting to its changing environment, they also point up AUB's function as an Arab university whose methods, standards and philosophy are influenced to varying degrees by American ideas.

The US, however, takes more than a passing interest in the university that bears its name." The American University of Beirut and the United States have had a long and productive relationship," Assistant Secretary of State Richard Murphy said in 1988. "For years the United States government has helped AUB and its hospital meet many of its operating costs.”

American assistance also comes from foundations, corporations and individual donors. In 1981, then-AUB President Harold E. Hoelscher reported, "In around two decades the US has put nearly $100 million in this institution.”

But neither tender loving American care, nor financial support from Arab countries, has been particularly even. As a result, for years AUB has lived on a knife-edge. Help from the US Agency for International Development, which reached $15 million in the mid-1980s, has dropped steadily ever since, reflecting US official disillusionment with the intractable political problems in Lebanon. The $6.5 million earmarked for AUB in 1989 was cut back to $3.5 million, with the extra $3 million going to Israel for an educational program there.

University policy has been to maintain good relations with all the parties in the strife in Lebanon, according to Information Director Mawlawi. "Politics are taught as a science at AUB," he said, "but students are not allowed to practice politics on campus.”

Before the civil war broke out in 1975, the campus was the scene of numerous student strikes and incidents related to the growing political tension. Responding to the repeated description of AUB by the US press as "Guerrilla U," in reference to the pro-Palestinian sentiment of many of its students, President Samuel Kirkwood told an interviewer in 1970 that, "Our students reflect all the political opinions of Beirut, Lebanon and the Middle East. Since there are many people who support the Palestinian commandos, there are some in our student body.”

With the outbreak of violent hostilities, much of this student unrest was dissipated, leaving the university today with one major bone of political contention. It concerns the "Off Campus Program." A dispute now rages between students, and their mentors among Maronite Christian politicians, who do not want this temporary "campus" in East Beirut closed, and the Board of Trustees, who would like to see the university united once more.

AUB's Present Crisis
The university's present crisis is a product of 15 years of war in Lebanon. Violence, loss of faculty and staff, lowered academic and operational standards, plus the push and pull of political pressures have all taken their toll.

AUB keeps a grisly list of university casualties. In addition to the late AUB president Dr. Malcolm Kerr, who was killed on campus in 1984, two university deans and two professors have been murdered. The entire Publications Office staff was lost with the kidnapping of Director Zahi Khuri in September 1983 (he is still missing) and the death of his assistant, Suha Tuqan, who was shot dead in her car six months later.

In 1986 a bus carrying AUB students and employees to East Beirut was fired on by unknown gunmen. Four were killed, three wounded. Last year, more than 85 shells struck the campus and hospital, causing nearly $1 million in damage.

Since 1982, six American teachers and administrators have been kidnapped. Two, Dr. Thomas Sutherland, Dean of Agriculture, and Mr. Joseph Cicippio, Deputy Controller, are still held captive.

The cumulative effect of this violence is telling. Many qualified teachers, both Lebanese and foreign, have fled. Foreign enrollment fell from between 40 and 50 percent of the 5,000-member student body to 10 percent. Only a handful of American and European faculty members remain.

The American University Hospital, coping with shortages and crisis conditions, lost its accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals in the United States. Its most conspicuous problem is a shortage of nurses, which has closed down whole sections of the hospital.

The intensive care unit hasn't functioned for a year, and one entire floor has been closed since 1985. Pediatrics and obstetrics units as well as operating rooms are also affected.

Target for shellfire and the scene of militia shoot-outs in the emergency room, the hospital has functioned at times without hot water, adequate medical supplies or essential facilities. At one point, patients' meals had to be cooked over steam from the boiler room because no cooking gas was available.

But head of nursing Gladys Mouro believes the AUB hospital is performing reasonably well, considering the situation. "Despite what people say, it is still better than many hospitals in the region and even in parts of Europe. The Lebanese are smart. Even though manpower is short they are coping efficiently," she said.

A Vigorous Academic Life
Given its broad spectrum of problems, it is a triumph that AUB functions at all. Academic life is surprisingly vigorous, although some programs have been shelved or curtailed, and there are complaints of academic irregularities.

AUB projects continue throughout the region. Environmental damage to Lebanon's coastline, for example, is the subject of a current study in the Geology Department. Just over Lebanon's northern border with Syria, the Archaeological Museum is digging at the site of Tel Kazel. During the just-completed sixth season the team reached levels of Phoenician habitation.

The university has more than 100 books in print on Middle Eastern subjects, many of them standard reference works.

AUB's major regional influence, however, comes through its consulting services to universities and institutions in the Arab world. Begun in 1976, the Research and Development Administration Center (RADAC) now runs a multimillion-dollar self-supporting service, chiefly in the fields of agriculture, health sciences and business.

The university also runs a productive research program funded by $1 million in grants, plus $100,000 from AUB. Recently the Ford Foundation gave $45,000 to help develop TV and radio public health ads.

The future of AUB's academic programs as well as its hospital are tied to the success of the current fundraising efforts. Its $38-million capital campaign has reached 70 percent of its goal, and another campaign is underway in North America to raise $1 million to cover war damage to the campus.

Other measures have been taken to help AUB meet its $38-million annual budget. Tuition fees have increased 700 percent since 1987, when they covered only six percent of costs, compared to 44 percent today.

Students' interests are protected by a program of scholarship grants and university assistance. Four out of five students receive some form of financial aid.

Alumni Efforts
Directly keyed to the fundraising effort are AUB's 32,000 alumni. Organized in chapters in Europe, North America and the Middle East, alumni representatives work directly with the University's Development Office and assist in contacting potential donors.

Many of AUB's supporters are the alumni themselves, who have always been successoriented. Their names show up frequently on rosters of statesmen, educators, scientists and corporate executives. The pattern set in 1945, when someone observed that 19 of the signatories of the UN Charter in San Francisco were AUB graduates, has continued even among recent alumni. "If these two men (AUB engineering majors) are typical of your graduates," the president of a California firm wrote AUB last summer, "then I can only commend you on the preparation provided by your university.”

AUB badly needs more money to shore up its programs, attract more qualified faculty and improve its facilities. But in the final analysis the future of the university depends on the fate of the country in which it resides. As "a citizen of Lebanon," AUB can only be as solvent, functional and united as the country itself. Whatever the forthcoming political and economic scenario, however, the American University of Beirut's many friends look at its long history, its beautiful campus and its positive influence and think it is worth saving.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Western Sahara: On the Verge of a Referendum

Amiar, Jamal. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 27.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784213?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The government of Morocco and the Polisario Front, once strongly backed by Algeria, are closer than ever before to a settlement of their 15-year-old conflict in the Western Sahara. In August 1988, the two sides gave their blessing, although with reservations, to a United Nations proposal to organize a referendum in the contested desert land.

A territory of 150,000 square miles, the Western Sahara was under Spanish rule until 1975. Its northern portion has been under Moroccan rule since then. In 1979, after Mauritania relinquished its administration of the southern portion of the former Western Sahara, Morocco started ruling the whole territory. Since then, Moroccan and Polisario troops have engaged in widespread fighting until a few months ago. Now the differences between Rabat and the Polisario Front are narrower than ever before.

The UN Plan
On Aug. 30, 1988 in Geneva, Morocco and the Polisario Front approved, with reservations, a UN proposal to hold a referendum in the Western Sahara. It was a proposal refused by Spain in 1966, when it was first broached by the UN. The revived UN proposal called first for a cease-fire, then the organization of the referendum.

Also in 1988, Rabat and the Polisario Front were agreed on two key issues: the wording of the referendum question, and the composition of the electoral body. The referendum question agreed upon was: "Do you wish independence or integration with Morocco?" As to the composition of the electoral body, both parties thought the safest starting basis would be the 1974 census, which listed 73,500 Saharawis over 18, and was the last census taken in the territory.

As Rabat had never agreed to direct talks with the Polisario, the big challenge faced by the UN related to obtaining a cease-fire agreement from both sides. For the first four years after the Moroccan army finished building its electronic defense wall across the territory, the royal troops had adopted a strategy of defending the settled areas against attacks from the desert. Until the Geneva agreement in 1988, the Polisario had pursued its attacks.

The immediate result of the 1988 cease-fire agreement was a meeting in the Moroccan city of Marrakech in January 1989 between Polisario Front leaders and Morocco's King Hassan. During that meeting, as the referendum issue was hotly debated, hopes ran high. Soon after the meeting, however, the Polisario leaders revealed the contents of their secret conversations with the Moroccan king, and Rabat broke off contact.

In the fall of 1989, the Polisario resumed its military attacks in the Sahara, but diplomats continued their efforts.

Now, two years after the 1988 Geneva agreement, Morocco and the Polisario have agreed on many of the terms of a settlement of the Sahara conflict. On June 19, 1990, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar unveiled details of his plan.

Between the cease-fire and the holding of the referendum, the UN would rule the territory, organizing the referendum and security for the participants. Perez de Cuellar has named Swiss diplomat Johannes Maenz as his personal representative for the Sahara.

Remaining Obstacles
Despite the lack of direct talks between Rabat and the Polisario, the UN is organizing the referendum project through different channels. In June, traditional Sahara tribal leaders met in Geneva with Polisario leaders to reach agreement on the names of the people to be included on the electoral lists. It was the first time in 15 years that Saharawis from both sides had met publicly.

Both sides agree that the main issue remains a military one. It concerns whether the Moroccan army will withdraw partially or totally from the Sahara when UN forces arrive. Rabat takes the position that its army and administration must remain in the Sahara until referendum results are made public.

For the majority of the Moroccan political parties, however, the issue is not the timing of a referendum or the withdrawal of soldiers. It concerns instead the faith of the Polisario Front.

For the militarily weakened Polisario Front, at a time when liberation organizations can no longer expect automatic world sympathy, the issue is one of survival. Deeply divided, the Polisario has lost many of its key supporters to Morocco lately. The referendum may therefore be the Polisario's last card. For these reasons, the Front is bargaining hard, pressing for at least a 50-percent withdrawal by Moroccan administrators and military personnel, and electoral lists that would favor the Polisario's independence program.

Perhaps the most persuasive argument for settling the problem by referendum is the existence of the special "referendum corps." It is composed of 50 specialists and 150 staff members who have conducted field supervision of successful referenda in areas ranging from Papua New Guinea, to Togo and Namibia in Africa.

Never has a referendum by the UN been contested and, according to French journalist Aude Yung, "The UN pros are without rivals in fighting electoral fraud.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Islamic Forum: As a Muslim in America, How Do You View the Foreign Troops in Saudi Arabia? Those Raising the Question Are Those Who Made It Necessary

Ali, M M. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 28.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784091?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Without going into the many ramifications of the current Middle East crisis, let me handle the question head on. Why are issues of incompatibility or religious conflicts not raised when foreigners (non-Muslims in particular) are invited to Saudi Arabia to set up industries, construct cities, build roads and bridges, transfer technology and train the local populations? Or why were eyebrows not raised when, through the years, millions of non-Muslim expatriates were imported to provide essential services? Why does a military uniform suddenly alter the tolerance level?

Another inference in the question is that the foreign troops are likely to defile the sanctity of a land and the sacredness of a culture. PLEASE! Should a shooting war start (and there is every likelihood of that happening) and the American troops take casualties, it would become exceedingly difficult for the US president to hold on to the high degree of confidence and support he has thus far enjoyed on his handling of the Middle East crisis. Bear in mind, there is a lot at stake for the Americans as well.

Under conditions of war and in times of peace, it needs to be remembered, a separate code of ethics and a separate set of international laws govern the behavior of nations. Annals of history are replete with instances of weaker nations seeking help from stronger powers under threat of war. That is how alliances are built and peace maintained and that is how wars are conducted and sovereign territories defended. Besides, this is not the first time, even in recent memory, that foreign troops have been invited into the Mideast.

With regard to the religious issue, let me submit: yes, the Mushrikoon (the Pantheists/ the Polytheists/the Enjoiners) have been prohibited from entering the holy Kaaba in Mecca.

Should need ever arise for protecting the Kaaba and the Masjid Alnabawi, Islam provides for temporary adjustment to meet an emergency situation.

Muslim countries now shouting themselves hoarse at the stationing of foreign troops in Saudi Arabia are, ironically, the same ones that were clandestinely importing arms and information from belligerent infidel powers only to wage an unfocused war against each other not too long ago.

The worst fears that are being expressed relate to the possible spiritual pollution that occupation forces bring with them. Such fears underestimate the strength of societies like that of the Saudis that have flourished for centuries. It is also demeaning to the young men and women of the armed forces, who are willing to risk their lives fighting someone else's war. Of course America, along with the European allies and Japan, would not have responded so swiftly and on such a large scale to the Saudi invitation had Saudi Arabia and Kuwait produced merely dates and olives.

All such considerations aside, however, it must be recognized that the American troops are not on a holiday in Saudi Arabia. It is an extremely different environment. It is also a dangerous location for anyone to be in at this time. The parents whose sons and daughters have been deployed to the war zone are, you can bet, spending some very uneasy days and nights here in America. The present standoff can explode into violence in a whiff and the American men and women there can be caught up in a nightmare.

Should such an eventuality come to pass, whatever fears and xenophobic reservations have been expressed would be transformed into respect and gratitude for the foreign troops. You can take my word for that.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Islamic Forum: As a Muslim in America, How Do You View the Foreign Troops in Saudi Arabia? Muslims Must Not Let Their Emotions Cloud Their Judgment

Alamoudi, Abdurahman. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 28.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218780332?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The deployment of foreign troops in Saudi Arabia leaves Muslim Americans with mixed emotions. On the one hand, they are upset at the clear double standard their government uses to respond to situations in the Middle East. The US moved its troops in so quickly, as if it were waiting for the excuse. Why not a similar response when the aggressor is Israel?

On the other hand, it is clear to us that Saddam Hussain must be stopped. No one can forget how he and the Baath party have oppressed the Iraqi people for so long, how he waged an aggressive war on a Muslim country, used chemical weapons on innocent civilians, and is now killing Kuwaitis for not hanging his picture on their walls.

One point is clear. Muslims must not let their emotions obscure their judgment now. Just because Saddam Hussain seems to be taking on the powers is no reason to believe his claim to be a Muslim leader, or to follow his call for jihad.

The United States claims to have the best intentions. If the West is sincere about leaving the area as soon as the crisis is solved, then it should demonstrate this by either:

1. Speeding up diplomatic efforts before it is too late and genuinely seeking a solution suitable to the aspirations of the people of the region, including the Palestinians, Kurds and Kuwaitis.

2. Withdrawing American troops in favor of a joint command comprising the Muslim nation forces already in place (Bangladesh, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria), reinforced with contingents from other Muslim nations. Such a force could come under a UN flag.

Regrettably, the Muslim world has not demonstrated the ability to assume such a responsibility. The Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), which would seem to be the logical body to tackle this problem, has proven impotent in crises of this magnitude.

The Prophet Mohammad said, "The destiny of a Muslim is all good: if he receives a blessing he is thankful and if he is inflicted with adversity he is patient." Whatever will happen in the Gulf is a blessing in the short or long run. It will either be a political solution or a military solution. The political solution has to be a just and fair one for everybody involved in the problem. The military solution is preferred only by those who want to weaken the Arab world militarily.

I pray to the Almighty that the outcome will bring the Arab world back to its senses in a few years and that it does not take 40 years for the Arab and the Muslim world to do what the Germans did on October 3, 1990.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Islamic Forum: As a Muslim in America, How Do You View the Foreign Troops in Saudi Arabia? If the Foreign Presence Leads to War, Desert Shield Will Become a Desert Trap

Shah, Mowahid. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 29.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218794655?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

To many Muslims, the US military presence in the Gulf masks a hidden agenda and a design deeper than the stated objectives. One unstated objective could be the destruction of Iraqi military assets, tilting the power balance in Israel's favor. Others could be pressured to take the Egyptian route to formalize ties with Israel. An Arab establishment which was dovish on Israel is hawkish on Iraq and is not giving Saddam a face-saving device. Also, the option of an Islamic solution has been given short shrift. Muslims don't want to see the Stars and Stripes superimposed on the Kalima (Saudi flag).

Three factors color the lenses through which the Muslims view the presence of US troops in the Arabian peninsula:

1. Past colonial experience of British duplicity which led to dispossession of Palestinian lands and rights;
2. Double standards on the Israeli occupation of Arab territories and the thwarting by the US of applicable UN sanctions against Israel in contradistinction to the US wrapping itself with the UN flag against Iraq; and
3. Western applause at actions which offend Muslim dignity, e.g. the Rushdie affair.

Those who are egging on the United States for war with Iraq (in which thousands of Muslim babies will likely be killed) are going to watch the war on color TV in their living rooms with their own children safely tucked into bed. Whatever the true facts, many suspect that the US somehow contrived the Kuwaiti controversy, or at least gave Saddam reason to think he could get away with invading Kuwait, in order to get a foothold in the Middle East and control of the oil wells. Often asked is why Iraq's occupation of Kuwait is accorded a higher priority than Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. Many Muslims see US support of Israel as an immoral commitment.

While the governments of Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, and Bangladesh have dispatched troops to the Gulf, it would be an error to read that as reflective of the aspirations of their people.

The spectacle of Iraq's defeat by US-led forces, facilitated by an Israeli and Arab establishment, would be felt as a Muslim humiliation and might well introduce a pan-Islamic backlash. Pan-Islamism may prove to be a far more lethal (and appealing) weapon than pan-Arabism.

The Arab establishment would be compromised irretrievably, with Saudi Arabia depicted as a US-supported oil plutocracy.

If the present crisis radicalizes the consciousness of Muslim peoples, it will weaken the governments in the Gulf. While the US may attempt to impose a new world order in the Middle East through a tripod of US troops, "moderate" Muslim regimes, and Israel, this strategy may backfire.

If the West winds up with greater control of the natural resources of the Muslim world, that alone may inadvertently help in making Saddam into a catalyst for Ayatollah Khomeini's unfinished business of spreading revolutionary Islam. America's venture in the Gulf could infuse a revanchist spirit into Muslim people to break the perceived yoke of foreign domination. And, if that happens, Operation Desert Shield may become a desert trap.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Islamic Forum: As a Muslim in America, How Do You View the Foreign Troops in Saudi Arabia? It's the Beginning of a 20th-Century Crusade

Asi, Mohammad H. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 29.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218780446?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

As a Muslim in America, from America and as a veteran of the US armed forces, I think the positioning of US military forces in the Arabian peninsula and the Gulf smacks of political expediency, financial opportunism, ideological bankruptcy, military supremacy and moral impotence.

The political opportunism is really identifiable by the stationing of American troops (many of them poor Afro- or Anglo-Americans who joined the armed forces for the GI bill, or simply because there was no other way up the social mobility ladder) in a political mess made possible by the chaos of Arab officialdom (reactionary vs. progressive, rich vs. poor, left vs. right, etc.).

The financial opportunities could not be forsaken. Given the S&L crisis, shutting down of banks, the erratic behavior of the stock markets, people high on the administration's totem pole could not fail to identify where the riches are, and so they placed their troops where the money is!
The US ideological vacuum is deafening. What idealism can the Bush administration offer the red, white and blue combatants in the Arabian deserts except for the green of the dollar, lower gas prices (which I haven't seen around yet, to the contrary, prices at the pumps keep rising) and shadow-boxing with a Mesopotamian Hitler?

The moral abyss of the Bush administration is unfathomable. What type of ethical argument does the administration and Congress have, when they know darn well that their deployment of hundreds of thousands of American and European GIs, camouflaged by a few Egyptians, Syrians and Saudis, will mean, once the shooting begins, that the US and its allies, under deep UN cover, are commencing a 20th-century crusade.

US and European forces have no business beginning a long-range war in the cradle of Islam. If the high brass in the US are uneducated about ideo- and geo-politics, then we, the Muslims, know that their strategic cohorts in Israel know very well what they are dragging the US into.

With the US and its European allies charging the Holy Lands with the atmospherics of war, any Zionist-manipulated agent provocateur may, under the cover of being deranged, try to blow up the Kaaba in Mecca or the Prophet's mosque in Medina. Muslims have had it with "deranged Jews" who tried to burn Al-Aqsa mosque in 1969, and other deranged misfits who tried, and still are trying, to undermine the foundations of Al-Aqsa in Al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The Muslim is watching imperialist forces close ranks to impose a Pax Americana on the Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem holies of Islam. If and when that seems to be happening, the US will have managed to declare war on over one billion Muslims. This war will dwarf Vietnam and Afghanistan. The terrorism of the past two decades will amount to no more than firecrackers. Mega-terror will be on its way in.

All in all, the Bush administration is being misadvised on the seriousness of this matter.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Differences over Gulf Crisis Pervade International NGO Meeting

Betz, Don. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 30.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218810588?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The predominance of the Gulf crisis was reflected dramatically in Geneva during the last week of August as hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) gathered at the Palais des Nations. The Seventh Annual United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine was the first major UN conference on the Middle East since the Iraqi invasion and occupation of neighboring Kuwait. Though the focus of the conference agenda was the intifada, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and the search for a peace process, the Gulf confrontation resonated through the elegant marble halls and intruded on virtually every workshop and panel.

The PLO Position
Yasser Arafat was to be the keynote speaker at the meeting's opening session, but the swirl of August events in the Middle East and his resulting shuttle diplomacy precluded his personal appearance. An extended statement from him was read to the 700 participants representing 350 NGOs drawn from every continent except Australia. More than 30 governments and a host of UN agencies and inter-governmental organizations attended as observers.

Nabil Shaath, Chairman of the Political Committee of the Palestine National Council (PNC) since 1971, foreign affairs advisor to Arafat, and former dean of the School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, presented the main address from the PLO. He counseled all present that during the months preceding Aug. 2, Palestinians and the PLO had become disheartened. Their peace offensive, undertaken in earnest after the November 1988 PNC decision to pursue a negotiated solution according to the UN Charter and UN resolutions, bore no fruit. The dialogue with the United States, though more symbolic than substantive from its inception, was suspended by the Americans.

Shaath reminded the participants that in July it had been the United States that vetoed the dispatch of a UN fact-finding commission to occupied Palestine to assess human rights violations. If the US was going to become the prime agent for implementing UN Security Council Resolutions on the Middle East, Shaath argued, then it should support with equal vigor the series of Security Council resolutions on Palestine, including 242, now 23 years old.

Shaath said the PLO position was that Iraq should withdraw from Kuwait. However, he eschewed absolute condemnation of the Iraqi action, because such condemnation inhibited productive mediation." That, he said, was the reason for the PLO vote "with reservations" at the Cairo Arab summit. He made it clear that the PLO opposes the acquisition of territory by force, and looks to a multinational UN peacekeeping force, including Arab forces, playing an interposing role in the Gulf. Expanding US military presence in the Gulf, he said, would be destabilizing and dangerous.

Shaath spoke about the central role that should be played by Europe in seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The UN-sponsored International Conference on Peace in the Middle East, first called for at the 1983 International Conference on the Question of Palestine, continues to offer the most equitable and hopeful path to the often-articulated goal of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, Shaath told the NGO representatives.

An Israeli Voice
Matti Peled, the former Israeli general and governor of Gaza who is currently professor of Arabic literature at Tel Aviv University, commented that the PLO agreement to a dialogue with the United States was a bad move "for the United States never meant to develop it into a significant aspect of the peace process." He chastised the Israeli Left for abandoning the Palestinians now and "stabbing them in the back.”

NGOs should be faithful to the peace formula of the two-state solution, adhere to relevant United Nations resolutions and support the UN-sponsored International Peace Conference with a clearly-defined agenda, Peled said.

Sari Nuseibeh, professor at Bir Zeit University, offered the most moving presentation of the conference. He spoke of the dream that lives in the heart of each Palestinian, "a dream of construction and not destruction, of new life, of mutual coexistence.”

He maintained that Palestinians have stretched out their hands to Israelis and declared that"we are a partner for peace." But he sees the current Israeli policy toward Palestinians as dehumanizing and leading to extinction. "Palestinians pay a daily price of blood for sheer survival," Nuseibeh stated.

While he depicted the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait as "wrong and illegal," he reserved his harshest words for the United States. He accused the US of having no standards, of hypocrisy and inconsistency in the region, of total identification with the interests of Israel and of an hysterical military response to the Kuwaiti affair. "The United States military force is the devil," he declared. "And oil is more important than human Palestinian blood.”

Debate Over One Word
The conference declaration was adopted by consensus after hours of contentious deliberation in the final plenary session. One full hour of intense debating transpired over one word, namely, whether Iraq would be specifically enjoined to withdraw from Kuwait. It was. The conference called for the end of the massive US-led military build-up in the Gulf, to be replaced by a peacekeeping force under UN control, if needed.

US encouragement of Israel over the past 23 years was specifically listed as contributing to the violations of Palestinian human rights under occupation. The one thousand days of the intifada were remembered by all as a living testimony to the power of the human spirit seeking self-determination. The Israeli policy of settling Jews "in the occupied Palestinian territories, and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem," was condemned at the end of a month when Israel registered 17,500 immigrants, its greatest influx since 1951.

After three days of informative panels and practical workshops on NGO collaboration, the international meeting finally ended with the United Nations interpreters closing their microphones and the conference staff literally turning off the lights in the hall far past the official adjournment time as the various factions continued to press their perceptions of obstacles to peace in the Middle East.

Mirroring the turmoil in the Gulf, the 1990 UN International NGO Meeting was not a placid affair.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Issues in the News

Payson, Parker L. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 31.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218780520?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

From the Jewish Press:

Deri-gate Grows:

Two members of Israel's ultra-orthodox Shas party threatened in September to withdraw from Israel's Likud-led governing coalition and destroy Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's government because of dissatisfaction with the ongoing probe into the corruption scandal of Shas party member and Interior Minister Arye Deri. Deri was accused in May of misdirecting public funds into personal organizations run by his family. Since then, several of Deri's aides have been imprisoned, and Deri has been charged with wiretapping the telephone lines of Police Superintendent Ya'cov Terner and investigative journalist Motty Gilat, the Jerusalem Post reported. Deri has argued that both Gilat and Terner's investigations were motivated by anti-religious bias. Labor minority leader Shimon Peres announced that he will not take advantage of the defections by supporting a no-confidence motion in Israel's parliament, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Court Ok's Demolitions:

Israel's supreme court in September gave the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) permission to demolish houses and shops belonging to Arabs suspected of involvement in the stoning death of an Israeli reservist who mistakenly entered a refugee camp in Gaza and rammed his car into a donkey cart, wounding two Palestinian youths. IDF commander Mattan Vilnai told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the demolitions were not intended to be punitive, but as security measures to widen the road. "The immediacy of the action is vital to restore order to the entire Gaza Strip...A traumatic act demands immediate attention," he said. Israeli civil rights groups criticized the court ruling, which came after the IDF bulldozed 15 shops, as a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a prohibition of the right to appeal.

USSR and Israel Establish Consular Ties:

The Soviet Union and Israel agreed in October to establish consular relations, after Israeli officials gave assurances that the Soviet Union would be included "in an ongoing dialogue to establish peace and security in the Middle East," the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. The decision came one month after Israeli officials met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to discuss expanding economic cooperation. Gorbachev reportedly told Israeli leaders that Moscow would restore full diplomatic relations, cut off since 1967, when Israel agrees to participate in an international conference on the future of the Palestinian occupied territories, an idea that Israeli Prime Minister Shamir has repeatedly rejected.

EC Reaffirms Palestinian Support:

Foreign ministers of the European Community (EC) met with members of the Arab League, minus Iraq, in September and signed a resolution calling for "the establishment of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people" and a continuing European-Arab dialogue to produce "an equitable resolution of the Middle East problems," the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. European ministers also met with Israel's foreign minister David Levy in September, but fell short of an agreement and admitted that their position on the occupied territories" is quite different from that of Israel.”

Electoral Reform Bill Enters Knesset:

Four Israeli parliamentarians from different parties introduced an electoral reform bill into the Knesset in September that called for the direct election of the prime minister, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. The bill came as a response to public criticism that Israel's government is hampered by its sometimes fractious coalition of minor parties, whose support is necessary to maintain a mandate to rule. Opponents of the reform bill called it "one of the most dangerous bills ever prepared in Israel" which "may prove to be the means for a dictator to be elected in entirely democratic elections.”

Levinger Convicted Again:

An Israeli appellate court in September found Rabbi Moshe Levinger, radical settler leader who was released from prison in August after killing an Arab merchant, guilty of trespassing, assault and insulting an Israeli officer. The incident occurred in 1988, when Levinger broke into a Palestinian home, beat a woman and her son, and attempted to beat the woman's seven-year old daughter because his own daughter claimed that the girl had teased her. Levinger refused an IDF officer's order to leave the premises, and called him "an agent of the PLO," the Washington Jewish Week reported.

Israel Points to Jordan:

Israel accused Jordan in September of systematically violating UN-imposed sanctions on Iraq. "Ten years of close relations between Amman and Baghdad are paying off," an Israeli official told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and Israel has become "clearly uncomfortable" with the situation. White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said some trucks had entered Iraq from Jordan but rejected Israel's view, saying Jordan "is committed to total compliance with the international embargo against Iraq.”

Soldiers Charged with Excessive Force:

A military court in September convicted four IDF soldiers from the elite Givati Brigade of the brutal beating in 1988 of two Palestinians, one of whom later died, in a detention center in Gaza. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency said the Likud-led government planned to pardon the soldiers immediately following the verdict.

US Says `No' to Satellite Link:

US officials turned down a request from Israel for a spy satellite hookup that would automatically transmit simultaneous images to Washington and Jerusalem. According to the Jerusalem Post, US State Department officials rejected the request made by Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy, saying that the US "would share intelligence with Israel as it does with other allies.”

AIPAC Attacks Amnesty International:

The Near East Report, the newsletter of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), carried an extensive criticism of Amnesty International in September for reporting on human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied territories, the Detroit Jewish News reported. AIPAC accused the British-based human rights organization of putting out "tendentious, one-sided reports" that rely "heavily on politically motivated sources" which lead to "unwarranted generalizations and inferences." Amnesty has called the charges "groundless.”

Arabic Names Banned on TV and Radio:

The Israeli Broadcast Authority ordered government-run television and radio to stop using Arabic names to describe Palestinian towns and villages, the Israeli newspaper Hadashot reported in September. Instead, broadcasters must refer to the towns by biblical Hebrew names. Former deputy mayor of Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti called the plan a "ridiculous" attempt "to prove ownership of the place by changing the name.”

Mossad Seeks Damage Control:

The Mossad, Israel's secret intelligence agency, began a campaign to discredit former Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky, the Jewish Telegraph Agency reported in September. Ostrovsky co-authored By Way of Deception, which claims, among other things, that Israeli intelligence withheld a warning that could have prevented the 1983 Beirut truck bombing that killed 241 US Marines, in order to damage US-Arab relations.

From the Arab Press:

American released from Iran:

Iran in September freed American David Rabhan, who spent eleven years in prison on charges of foreign currency manipulation, the Saudi Gazette reported. Rabhan, who was a former pilot for US President Jimmy Carter, was imprisoned two months before Iranian students seized the American Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. Although Iranian courts twice declared Rabhan not guilty, Iranian Revolutionary Guards would not let him out of prison, reportedly as a rebuff to President Carter.

French Soldiers Attacked:

The "Movement for Djibouti Youth" claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in that East African country which killed a French boy and injured several off-duty French soldiers in September. Iraq denied any connection to the group, which said it acted in response to "Western aggression" in the Gulf, the Middle East Times reported.

Ben Bella Returns to Algeria:

Algerian president Chadli Benjedid announced in September that Algeria's first multi-party parliamentary elections will be held in the spring of 1991 to replace the present one-party, Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) parliament, elected in November 1987. Algeria's first president, Ahmed Ben Bella, who was overthrown in a 1965 military coup, returned from exile in September and called on the government to hold elections immediately and disband, the Middle East Times reported. Ben Bella, who led Algeria's independence struggle and was also known for rounding up hundreds of shoeshine boys and announcing that he would send them all to school, outlawed the multi-party system during his three-year populist rule.

House Rules out Pre-election Exemption:

Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee rejected requests by the US State Department to waive a federal law requiring presidential certification that Pakistan is not developing nuclear weapons. Aid to Pakistan was suspended on Sept. 31 because President Bush did not sign the certification, the Saudi Gazette reported. The State Department sought a six-month waiver on the law, until after Pakistani elections, "not in an attempt to neglect the problem...[but] to get more time to obtain the necessary commitment," a State Department official said.

Aoun Seeks Refuge:

After a monthlong siege and an attack on his headquarters in East Beirut by Lebanese Army and Syrian forces, Maronite Christian General Michel Aoun requested asylum from the French government in October. Aoun's 14,000-man army had been cut off from supplies by forces loyal to newly elected Lebanese President Elias Hrawi, in cooperation with forces controlled by Maronite militia leader Samir Geagea, who, unlike Aoun, has recognized the Hrawi government. Prior to Aoun's surrender, some 25 people protesting the blockade were killed by Geagea's Lebanese Forces, the Arab News reported.

Tunisian Security Chief Arrested:

The former head of Tunisia's security force, Mohammed Larbi Mahjoubi, was arrested in September on charges of misusing power, the Saudi Gazette reported. Tunisian government sources alleged Mahjoubi had been connected with the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad, which allegedly was responsible for the assassination of PLO leader Abu Jihad in Tunis in April 1988.

King Hussein Welcomes Old Fees:

Leftist Palestinian leaders George Habash, of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Nayef Hawatmeh, of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, met separately with Jordan's King Hussein in Amman in September to discuss Jordanian-Palestinian relations and the Gulf crisis, Al Fajr reported. The two leaders, who led rival factions against Jordanian forces in September 1970, had not returned to Jordan since their expulsion 20 years ago.

Sudan's Relief Programs in Jeopardy:

Fighting in drought-stricken Sudan intensified after Christian and animist rebels attacked a government convoy in September, killing 140, and government forces retaliated by bombing several rebel-controlled towns, where UN relief workers were distributing food. Because continued fighting has threatened future aid, "hundreds of thousands of people are at risk," the Chairman of the US House Select Committee on Hunger, Tony Hall (D-OH), said. Sudan's President Bashir, who came to power in 1989 with pledges to end Sudan's seven-year civil war, executed 12 soldiers earlier in September and imprisoned 76 others who sought to reinstate Sudan's previous leader, Sadek Al-Mahdi, the Middle East Times reported.

New Judge Named:

An Argentinian judge, Maria Ruda, replaced Swiss judge Robert Briner in September as a member of the nine-judge tribunal at the Hague International Court of Justice arbitrating the multibillion-dollar financial disputes between Iran and the US that occurred following the Iranian revolution in 1979. The Iranian government requested Briner's removal, charging that he misrepresented himself by withholding the fact that his mother was an American, the Saudi Gazette reported.

Qaddafi Offers Nomads Home:

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in September offered asylum to an estimated 800,000 Berber-speaking, nomadic Tuareg tribesmen, who live in the Sahara desert and routinely cross the borders of Niger, Mali, Algeria and Libya. The Tuareg have clashed repeatedly with security forces in Mali and Niger, where Amnesty International charged 40 Tuareg were executed in May, the Middle East Times reported.

House Passes Lebanese Protection Bill:

The US House of Representatives, by a vote of 231 to 192, passed a bill in October granting temporary protection to Lebanese nationals living in the US by offering work visas that allow them to remain in the US for at least three years. Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH), the bill's sponsor, called on the Senate to adopt the bill, saying, "Our nation should act humanely toward those who are stranded at our doorstep. We cannot, in good conscience, send these people home to face death.”

Turkish and Bulgarian Leaders Meet:

Turkish President Turgut Ozal and Bulgarian Prime Minister Andrei Lukanov met in September in southern Turkey to discuss improving bilateral ties, the Anatolia News Agency reported. Relations between the two countries began deteriorating in 1984 when then-Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov enforced a cultural assimilation program on the ethnic Turkish minority. After the border was opened in 1989, some 350,000 ethnic Turks in Bulgaria fled into Turkey. Since then, all restrictions imposed on ethnic Turks in Bulgaria have been lifted, and an estimated 140,000 have returned home.

Sudan's Relations with Egypt Sour:

Sudan's opposition to foreign military presence in the Gulf has strained relations with neighboring Egypt. Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, expressing concern that a Sudanese missile would be capable of destroying the Aswan High Dam, thereby flooding the entire Nile valley and wiping out an estimated 98 percent of Egypt's population, said, "If ground-to-ground missiles were positioned in Sudan, I would destroy them immediately," the Middle East Times reported.

Soviet Union Restores Ties with Gulf States:

The last Gulf Arab state to restore diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, Bahrain, resumed ties with the Soviet Union in September, two weeks after Saudi Arabia did the same. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud bin Faisal told Okaz that the move to restore ties, which were cut in 1938, resulted from "the positive role played by the Soviet Union in ensuring security and stability in the world in general and the Middle East in particular.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The Elephant and the Gulf Question

Dunn, Michael C. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 34.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218794539?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

There is an old joke, sometimes told on Palestinians and sometimes on Jews, but with the same basic punchline: There is an international competition for essays on the elephant. The various nations submit their work. The British have studied "the elephant in sport." The Germans have produced a multi-volume scientific treatise on the elephant, the Americans a glossy picture book. Then comes the next entry from a Palestinian (or Jew): "The Elephant and the Palestine Question" (or "Jewish Question"). The joke reminds us that many groups, for perhaps understandable reasons, will examine any problem, whether related or not, through the lens of their own particular preoccupations.

Lately, as the Gulf crisis has continued, we have begun to see a lot of discussions of the Gulf crisis in the context of the Arab-Israeli or Israeli-Palestinian predicament. This can be dangerous, because it can distort the goals of any diplomatic (or military) operation and, perhaps, lead to unrealizable objectives being set.

Distorted Goals and Unrealizable Objectives
These preoccupations with the Israeli-Palestinian dimension of the Gulf crisis are coming from both Israelis and Palestinians, with both sides, and their foreign supporters, interpreting the meaning of the crisis in terms of their own concerns. Nor is this unjustified. Israel may very well find itself involved militarily, either through Iraqi action or its own, and Palestinians made up a substantial proportion of the workforce in Kuwait and are directly affected.

But here in Washington, many of those who have spent their careers dealing professionally with Middle Eastern affairs and who are therefore preoccupied with the Palestinian-Israeli issue from one side or another are also interpreting the Gulf crisis in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. At one recent panel in Washington which included Kuwaiti Ambassador Sheikh Saud Nasir, the first two questions asked had to do with Palestinian issues. Sheikh Saud informed the questioners -- both long-time Mideast hands with sympathies for the Arab world -- that he was there to talk about Kuwait, and that other issues would have to wait until Kuwait's immediate, day-to-day suffering was alleviated.

Many Americans, and others as well, see the Gulf primarily as some sort of sideshow to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is not. It will have repercussions on that conflict, of course, but from the point of view of both intelligence assessment and national security decision making, it should be recognized as a separate issue, one which deeply engages American national interests as well as those of the region.

Seen Through a Distorting Lens
One example already visible of the tendency to view the Gulf crisis through a distorting lens has been the congressional effort to persuade the Bush administration to divide its proposed $20 billion-plus arms package for Saudi Arabia and offer only those weapons systems needed for immediate use in the crisis. Other systems with longer delivery times would be deferred for congressional consideration after the crisis, at which time, presumably, politics as usual would intrude. Yet the Gulf crisis has shown clearly that Saudi Arabia does have a self-defense requirement and that it needs much stronger and larger armed forces than it now has to deter future threats from its neighbors.

Another potential danger is that muddling the Gulf waters with the Israeli-Palestinian issue will confuse the goals of any operation in the Gulf. While not everyone agrees with conservative commentator Pat Buchanan that only Israel and its "amen corner" in the US support military action against Iraq, it is clear that Israeli leaders are among the most hawkish in urging the United States not merely to take military action but to destroy Iraq's war-making capabilities. There also are some Saudi and Egyptian officials, however, who argue that even with Kuwait liberated, if Saddam Hussain is left in power he will still pose a threat to his neighbors.

A "Surgical Strike" Would Not Suffice
Space does not permit a detailed analysis of what would be required to eliminate Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons capabilities. Suffice it to say, however, that it is not a matter of a "surgical strike." It would require mass strategic bombing roughly on a par with the destruction of the German industrial infrastructure in 1944-45. If such an effort had to be made, it would be protracted and bloody.

In decision making, whether military or political, a clear definition of one's goals (and a reasonable understanding of what is required to achieve them) is essential. In the list of "principles of war" used by most modern armies, the principle of the objective stands at the top. President Bush did identify his objectives clearly: restoration of the government of Kuwait, release of hostages, etc. Those goals are achievable, if not diplomatically then through the application of military force. But the broader goals being set by some commentators -- removing the Iraqi government, destroying its future war-making capability, even perhaps instituting a "MacArthur regency" in Baghdad -- are unachievable. What is more, they are not really a reflection of US interests in the region, but an echo of Israel's desire to see Iraq's military muscle destroyed.

A Dangerous Tendency
At this point, the natural and understandable tendency of some in the US to see all Middle Eastern issues through the Israeli-Palestinian lens becomes dangerous indeed. It can lead to the setting of military objectives far beyond those dictated by American interests in the immediate response to the invasion of Kuwait. And they would mean a long and bloody, not a short and limited, war. At the other end of such a tunnel, the US might find a very changed Middle East, with friendly regimes collapsing, old borders disappearing and new power blocs emerging.

As this was written, there was a growing sense in Washington that the issue of war or diplomatic settlement might be resolved very soon, and a growing foreboding that it might have to be resolved militarily. Before any such decision is taken, however, it is important that the US and other participants define clearly their goals, and how to achieve them, and that they not be influenced by considerations not directly related to the immediate crisis. It is vital that American objectives be set in accordance with the interests of the US and the affected countries (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Arab allies such as Egypt) and not be dictated by countries, like Israel or Palestine, not directly involved.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait: The Commercial Fallout

Egan, John. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 35.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218810639?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

For US business executives who bet the store on doing business with Iraq, it's a Maalox moment. At least two US companies with heavy exposure in Iraq sought chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from their creditors within a week of the imposition of economic sanctions. But Dennis Bernhart, a group executive at Fluor Daniel Inc., made his decision long before Iraqi tanks rolled into Kuwait City on Aug. 2.

As one of the world's largest engineering and construction (E&C) firms, Fluor was well placed to compete for some of the billions of dollars which Iraq said it would spend to rebuild its oil industry.

After eight years of war with Iran, Iraq needed to rebuild its refineries and petrochemical facilities, as well as build new plants to meet domestic and export needs. European and Asian firms battled fiercely for E&C contracts in Iraq, but Fluor moved more cautiously. "We were never in Iraq as a major player, and there are too many other places in the world where it is safe to do work and where we don't have to worry about political unheavals," Bernhart told the Washington Report. "Life is too short to take those kinds of risks with your employees.”

In the last two years, European and Asian firms have won large construction contracts in Iraq, but their employees -- some of whom are almost certainly among the non-US hostages rounded up by Iraqi forces -- may be the ultimate losers if the standoff between the US and Iraq is not settled peacefully.

Iraq's invasion "has certainly made us more cautious about the Middle East in general, and Iraq and Kuwait in particular," Bernhart said. "We have shelved any strategic plans to compete for business in Iraq.”

Fluor Daniel, based in Irvine, California, was competing for a contract at a large petrochemical plant owned by the Kuwait Petroleum Company, but Bernhart said that project is now "on the back burner.”

Hoping to cash in on a strong world demand for oil and petrochemicals, Persian Gulf countries had planned to spend tens of billions of dollars on new facilities. But Iraq's invasion will cancel or delay some projects and make many firms wary about doing business in some Mideast countries, according to Jean Abi Nader, president of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce.

Last year Kuwait spent $855 million on US goods and services, chiefly automobiles, airplanes and consumer goods, said Don DeMarino, a deputy assistant secretary at the Commerce Department's Near East bureau. US imports of petroleum and other Kuwaiti goods totaled $975 million in 1989.

That volume of trade, while significant, is dwarfed by US-Saudi trade. Last year, US exports to Saudi Arabia totaled $3.57 billion, and imports from Saudi Arabia reached $7.1 billion. Overall, the US exports $6 billion in goods and services annually to the Middle East, DeMarino said.

Economic vs. Political Stability
As in other parts of the world, US firms operating in the Middle East make business decisions with one eye on the area's longterm economic potential and the other eye on the region's political stability.

Close US political ties with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman explain why Fluor likes working in those countries, Bernhart said. For example, the E&C giant refused to close its office in Saudi Arabia, even though Fluor booked relatively little new work there in the mid-1980s. But, by maintaining a presence in the Kingdom, Fluor was in a strong competitive position when Saudi Arabia began taking bids for oil-related construction work earlier this year.

Saudi Oil Minister Hisham Nazer is seeking long-term agreements between oil-producing countries and US oil refiners. These agreements, Nazer hopes, will insulate both parties from wild fluctuations in oil price and demand.

Saudi Arabia's deal with Texaco is an example of one such mutually satisfactory bargain. In 1988, the Kingdom paid Texaco about $800 million for a 50-percent interest in Texaco's East Coast US refining and marketing operations. Saudi Arabia also agreed to provide at least 50 percent of the crude oil needed for those refineries.

The agreement gave Saudi Arabia a guaranteed market for its crude oil, as well as a diversified revenue stream. The deal gave Texaco planners a more secure crude oil supply. Transnational integration between oil producers and oil refiners gives each player a stake in keeping the world oil market as stable as possible.

In striking this deal with Texaco, the Saudis were only following Kuwait's lead. In the 1980s, Kuwait purchased several refineries as well as thousands of gasoline stations in Europe. The Kuwait Investment Office also bought a 20-percent stake in British Petroleum, but was later forced by British officials to reduce its stake to under 10 percent.

Earlier than other OPEC members, Kuwaiti officials recognized the danger of relying exclusively on crude oil sales for their country's revenues. Kuwait also diversified when it purchased large stakes in European industrial firms, insuring that its financial fortunes would no longer rise or fall solely on the price of crude oil. Indeed, in recent years Kuwait had earned far more from its refineries, gasoline stations and non-oil investments, than it had earned from sale of its crude oil.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (Dennis Bernhart)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Arab-American Caucus at Texas State Democratic Convention

Bisex, Walter Earl. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 39.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218797595?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Once again rank-and-file regulars of the Texas Democratic Party are demonstrating that they are prepared to speak for Palestinian human rights, despite the continuing hold American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) funds have established over party leaders nationally. AIPAC, Israel's Washington, DC lobby with a board of directors representing a variety of Jewish organizations from all over the United States, is not a political action committee (PAC), but it directs or guides the donations of scores of pro-Israel PACs around the country.

For the second time in a row, the Texas Democratic Party this year included in its platform a plank calling for peace negotiations in Israel, with language giving Israelis and Palestinians even-handed treatment. This year, however, it almost didn't happen.

State Issues Take Precedence
In Texas, 1990 is the year for Democrats to regain the governorship, a political imperative in a redistricting year. Unlike 1988, a presidential election year, in 1990 state and local issues take the fore. Time, money, and energy -- the currency of the political realm -- are saved for winning state offices, not debating national and international issues.

For this reason, members of the Texas Arab-American caucus had spent the year working for various candidates of their choice. No plans had been made for activities at the state convention beyond hosting a hospitality booth with Arabic food, posters, and brochures and handouts of various sorts touting Arab-American contributions to Texas and the nation, and presenting Arab-American viewpoints too often ignored in media reporting. In other words, the Arab-American caucus was adhering to the cease-fire that had been negotiated at the end of the 1988 National Democratic Convention.

For these reasons, the approximately 35 Arab-American caucus members who were delegates to the 1990 Texas Democratic Convention were quite surprised to receive a letter to all delegates from the office of Garry Mauro, Texas Land Commissioner (an important statewide elective office), calling for support of platform language promoting peace in the Middle East and strong relations with our democratic ally Israel.”

The two-page letter essentially called for a return to the failed Camp David process to deal with the Palestinian issue, and for support of Israel's current peace proposal, which failed because Israel itself refused to implement it. The letter never mentioned Palestinian human rights, although it referred to "the current situation which has taken its toll on Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Lest someone want to begin a dialogue on the issue or present another viewpoint, Mauro's letter declared that "attitudes in the Middle East have been shaped by a set of conditions difficult to understand through Western eyes, and which make the pursuit of a solution to the conflict slower and more difficult.”

The sneak-attack letter was accompanied by a press release from a group called Texans for Justice & Freedom," which had been signed by approximately 200 Texas party officeholders and leaders, including nearly every Texas candidate for office. Only US Representatives Kika de la Garza, Henry B. Gonzalez, and Charles Wilson and a handful of state senators and representatives were not listed as signatories.

Texans for Justice & Freedom, a previously unknown organization, clearly follows the long tradition of local AIPAC shadow organizations. The Texans for Justice & Freedom coordinative co-chair is the former regional coordinator of AIPAC. Listed on its letterhead are the current North Texas and South Texas state chairs of AIPAC, and one of its regional officers.

In fact, signatories to the sneak-attack letter were solicited directly by AIPAC on its own stationery. AIPAC realizes that its name carries weight with elected officials, but that rank-and-file party regulars not susceptible to its financial carrots and sticks must be approached indirectly behind names such as "Texans for Justice and Freedom." As is the case with virtually all of the 114 pro-Israel political action committees that have been active nationwide, there is no reference in its name to Israel, or to anything that would reveal its real purpose.

The sneak-attack letter was clearly a step backward from the even-handed and positive position adopted by the state party in 1988. In 1988, the Texas party called for a peaceful settlement that would "respect and insure the safety, self-determination and right to exist within secure and internationally recognized borders of both the Israelis and Palestinians." The sneak-attack letter proposed language that would "reaffirm our commitment to a secure and thriving Israel," but limited its concern to "the Palestinians in the administered territories," whose "legitimate rights" would be realized through "a lasting and just peace.”

I believe that in the name of party unity, AIPAC was attempting to deal a death blow to the new voice of Arab Americans within the Texas Democratic Party. AIPAC leaders did not speak to Arab Americans about the proposed platform language, because AIPAC did not want a compromise and a unified, peaceful state convention. They wanted a near-unanimous party leadership signing a platform that once again eliminated the Arab-American viewpoint from political dialogue, so that unquestioning support of Israel could continue. AIPAC wanted a surprise attack to annihilate the enemy completely. Through swift action by individual delegates, however, AIPAC did not succeed.

A Two-Front Response
The Arab Americans responded on two fronts. Locally, they wrote to the signatories of the sneak-attack letter expressing outrage at the letter. They informed party leaders that if unity was the goal, the Arab-American caucus should have participated in preparing the platform language. They also informed party leaders that, despite near unanimity among party officeholders, compromise language was needed or there would be a fight at the convention.

On the national front, Jim Zogby, the heart and soul of the new Arab-American voice in the Democratic Party and the executive director of the Arab American Institute in Washington, DC, enlisted the help of national leaders and the Rainbow Coalition to talk with AIPAC and, at the same time, enlist allies for the fight that would result if a compromise could not be reached. The Rainbow Coalition and its leaders at both the national and state levels were crucial to the Arab-American Caucus's success.

Negotiations with AIPAC were led by Ruth Ann Skaff, a Texas member of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Party's ruling body. Ms. Skaff had led the negotiations in 1988 at the state convention and was covering very familiar ground.

The AIPAC negotiators also were the same, for the most part. Interestingly, they included a member of the AIPAC national office and its Southwest regional director, neither of whom were on the Texans for Justice & Freedom letterhead.

As the Arab-American caucus moved into action, however, its 35 members found that AIPAC had been hard at work. AIPAC claimed 300 delegates to the state convention and had reportedly made a deal with the labor caucus at the convention for support on all of its issues.

In addition, AIPAC had hired a press relations expert for the convention, and a floor manager known in Texas for his hard-ball tactics as a political campaign consultant. AIPAC's 40 walkie-talkies were evident on the floor throughout the convention. Clearly, much of AIPAC's political currency had been spent on this surprise attack.

Despite this array of force, the Arab-American caucus was able to reach a significant compromise in the two weeks between receiving the sneak-attack letter and the convention's opening gavel. The final language was not the clear call for protection of Palestinian human rights that the 1988 language had been, but the offensive reference to administered territories" was removed and AIPAC had to back off from the "legitimate rights" language that echoes Camp David. While not a victory for either side, it was a year for unity rather than issues, after all.

An Anti-Climactic Convention
The convention itself was anticlimactic. Much energy was expended making sure that the compromise was holding. The Arab-American caucus kept allies informed so that they would be ready in case the compromise failed. Press releases and fliers were circulated on the convention floor in response to AIPAC fliers. The rest of the time was spent staffing the hospitality booth, clearly one of the most attended at the convention.

In fact, the convention was so anti-climactic that a question arises concerning AIPAC tactics: Why spend so much money, send so many delegates and so many walkie-talkies, and then retreat from the fight so easily?

The question looms even larger when you take into account the other AIPAC compromise at the convention. A group of Black and Muslim delegates, although few in number, obtained passage of an anti-Israel resolution on the issue of South Africa. The original language resolved that "we encourage our government to maintain sanctions against South Africa's apartheid system and withhold US foreign assistance to any nation maintaining a military and/or nuclear relationship with South Africa.”

Only Israel, of all the world's nations, satisfies this requirement for sanction. In spite of the fact that the Arab-American caucus had been silenced by its compromise before the convention, the pro-Israel forces backed away from a fight again.

AIPAC's response was to insert the word "economic" between "military" and "nuclear," and add the phrase "even realizing that this impacts many nations of the world" to the end. Hanging on the thread of an argument that the resolution was now no longer anti-Israel because it applied to many nations, AIPAC was willing to accept the resolution.

AIPAC's Two Tactical Errors
My only explanation is that AIPAC realized that it had made two grave tactical errors, First, it misjudged the rank-and-file Democratic support for Palestinian human rights and the Arab-American caucus's ability to mobilize this support, both in Texas and in Washington.

Second, AIPAC activists picked the wrong battlefield. Instead of being able to deal a deathblow without a fight, they found their forces marshalled at a convention at which they could not fight without incurring the wrath of the party leadership, their primary ally.

Any fight, even one resulting in a victory, would have undermined their support in the future. Therefore the 1990 convention was a defeat for AIPAC supporters, not only because of the South African resolution, but because they showed their disregard for the primary party concern for a gubernatorial victory by picking a fight that the Arab-Americans had already agreed not to start. Thus, AIPAC continued the erosion of its very broad, but very shallow, support from US officials.

Lest Arab Americans take too much heart in this victory, however, it is clear from the fact that 200 party leaders signed the sneak-attack letter that AIPAC maintains a strong hold on the party, and the Arab-American Caucus remains on the outside. In 1992, there will be no political cease-fire. The 35 Arab-American caucus members will have to increase their number and continue to support Palestinian human rights. AIPAC's 300 delegates will have just as much money and just as many walkie-talkies in 1992. They will be hungry for the fight that they elected not to continue this year. To be ready, more Arab-Americans will have to be willing to ask their elected officials to call Israel to account for its human rights violations, and to demand that US policy in the Middle East be even-handed. More Arab-Americans and human rights activists will have to work hard before the convention.

Of course, a fight at the Texas Democratic Convention could be avoided in 1992 if there were peace in the Middle East. Is that too much to hope for in two years?

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Washington State Democrats Tie Israeli Aid to Palestinian Rights

Mercer, Lyle. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 41.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218797841?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Washington state Democrats, at their June convention, rejected an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)-inspired drive to gut the party's Mideast peace plank, and instead adopted a resolution which calls for making US aid to Israel conditional on Israeli respect for Palestinian human rights and participation in the peace process.

Delegates easily reaffirmed their 1988 policy, which calls for a secure Israel, an independent Palestinian state, and negotiations between Israelis and Palestinian representatives chosen by the Palestinians themselves. Washington was one of only six states which had similar Democratic party planks.

Retention of the Mideast plank not only rebuffed the pro-Israel lobby, but also leading state Democrats who lent their names to the AIPAC campaign, but failed to speak on its behalf at the convention: these were Senator Brock Adams, three House members, the governor, and various state and municipal legislators. The conditional US aid to Israel stance appears to be the first adopted by a state Democratic party.

The Battle Joined
The battle was joined in April when Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Seattle allowed his congressional letterhead to be used for a letter sent to local and state Democratic delegates. According to Shelby Scates, Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist, the letter was reproduced and distributed by the regional director of the B'nai Brith Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an organization Scates described as "once a civil rights watchdog, now more conspicuous as a supporter of Israel, especially Shamir's right-of-center Likud faction.”

McDermott, a longtime State Senate liberal, is serving his first House term. During his second tour of Israel last year, at the urging of Seattle Arab and Jewish Americans, he toured the occupied Gaza Strip. His staffers told constituents that he was shocked and angered by what he saw and learned during his guided tour. This, however, apparently was not enough to induce him to stand up for his party's Mideast peace policy. He received $9,300 in pro-Israel PAC funding during his first House campaign in 1988, but has accepted none to date for his new 1990 campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records.

The congressman, who claims that the use of his stationery was a staff mistake, admitted that his letter was not balanced: "We could have talked more about the Palestinians," he said. Contrary to a congressionally mandated State Department report issued in March of this year, the delegate letter claimed 30 PLO attacks on Israel in the past two years, and glibly promoted Shamir's bogus election proposal, while trying to eliminate the state Democratic support for Palestinian statehood.

At least two party officeholders said their names were used without their permission. Several state legislators who had signed on initially subsequently recanted, claiming they had not fully understood the implications of the apparently innocuous text.

Meanwhile an ad-hoc committee of Arab-American and Jewish-American activists issued a call to delegates urging reaffirmation of the standing Mideast plank. Endorsing the appeal were Seattle chapters of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the New Jewish Agenda, the International Jewish Peace Union and three other Jewish groups, an Episcopalian group, the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the Rainbow Coalition and Sane/Freeze.

Reaffirming the Mideast Plank
In early May, in the Seattle area, King County Democrats debated and then adopted a floor resolution reaffirming the previous state plank on Palestinian self-determination.

After the state convention, 20 outraged constituents met with McDermott and castigated him for his anti-platform posture. Visibly irritated, he told the group he was neither for nor against a Palestinian state. Under questioning, however, he agreed that he erred in voting for the Jerusalem-as-Israeli-capital resolution.

Party platforms generally are ignored and pigeonholed after conventions, especially by freewheeling members of Congress. However, the increasingly critical Mideast conflict, and the paramount US role in United Nations actions there, will, it appears, continue to simmer on the "other Washington's" political stove.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



East Welcomes West to the Arab States of the Gulf

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 44.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784148?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Within two months of the Aug. 2 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, some 175,000 US troops, more than eight percent of the American armed forces and with their numbers still increasing, were in the Arab states of the Gulf. Although media interest centered on the effect on Saudi Arabia's approximately 10 million residents of such a sudden descent of foreigners, the Saudis took it in stride.

In fact, Saudi officials pointed out, they annually host between one and two million Muslim pilgrims who arrive at a specific time to visit Mecca and Medina, the Muslim holy places in the western part of the country, and then depart.

By those standards this influx, although it is taking place in the eastern rather than the western portion of Saudi Arabia, is easily handled. The Saudi government literally took over entire hotels in the Eastern Province and in the Saudi capital of Riyadh and put them at the disposal of its foreign military guests for use as temporary quarters for troops in transit to more permanent quarters in military bases, and for the liaison personnel working with the Saudi Ministry of Defense and regional military commands.

As for the charges being broadcast from Baghdad to Muslim states that non-Muslim soldiers are protecting Islamic shrines, the Saudis are counting on the millions from all of those countries who have actually made the Islamic Pilgrimage to set the record straight. The only military units stationed anywhere near those holy places are also from Islamic countries.

Ironically, while the total influx from Western nations will be fewer than 250,000 troops, with all scheduled to leave at the end of the crisis, many hundreds of thousands of non-Muslims from Asia, Europe and North America have lived and worked in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for decades without serious problems.

There are also US and Western forces in the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, all of which are bound by treaty to help defend GCC member states Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. US military forces in those other Gulf states are largely air force or naval units and liaison personnel. Upon their arrival, there were similar dramas of host government-commandeered hotels, but most of the American and other military personnel have moved into military bases and, since they wear civilian clothes off-duty, have become virtually invisible in Gulf cities which, for a generation, have been home to businessmen and workers from the Middle East, Europe, North America and Asia.

The most lasting effects of the crisis, therefore, may be on the military visitors who came from all points of the compass, participated however briefly in Middle Eastern life, and who will return to their own countries with old stereotypes replaced by new understanding of the previously little-known Arab states of the Gulf.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (US soldiers on tank in desert)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Doris Aghazarian

Zalatimo, Dima. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 47.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218815419?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Those who watched the George Bush-Mikhail Gorbachev press conference at the end of their meeting in Helsinki on Sept. 9 will remember Doris Aghazarian as the journalist who pressed both chiefs of state into a Middle East discussion the US president apparently did not welcome, while his Soviet counterpart apparently did.

Sitting among fellow journalists at the crowded press conference in Helsinki, Palestine News Agency (WAFA) correspondent Aghazarian had become increasingly annoyed at the predictable questions she deemed an evasion of the difference in world reaction to different, but equally illegal, military occupations in the Middle East by the Israeli and Iraqi armies.

Forcing the Issue
When it was her turn to ask a question, she addressed President Bush: "You mentioned that you failed to see the link between the Palestinian question and the present situation. I would like to know how come it is so important to implement UN resolutions in this particular instance when other standing ones have been frozen and overlooked? I'd like to know how come this aggression is so different from other ones? I would like to add that I personally feel the Palestinian dilemma needs the attention of the superpowers now more than ever.”

Aghazarian, born in West Germany to a Palestinian father of Armenian descent and a Finnish mother, has been a WAFA correspondent just under one year. At 29, she speaks eight languages and can write in three. Currently enrolled at the University of Helsinki, she is pursuing a degree in Semitic languages and philosophy. Her hobby is writing, both poems and short stories.

With her ties to Palestine and carrying both Jordanian and Finnish citizenship, Aghazarian says, "I don't feel a bit schizophrenic with this triple allegiance...Armenians and Germans also have a place in my life." She points out that in a "rigid" country like Finland, "it is a heaven-sent opportunity for me to speak my own [Arabic] language and deal with matters that are of personal significance to me.”

While Finland seems to be a remote part of the world, it is at the brunt of the latest political developments. When the Soviet Union opened its doors to allow Jewish emigration, Finland agreed to serve as a transit point for the emigres, provided the Israeli government guaranteed they wouldn't be settled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. No such guarantees were made, and vehement criticism of Finland's decision by the PLO's representative in Helsinki, Dr. Zuheir Alwazir, elicited massive public debate. It also resulted in futile attempts by the Finnish Christian Party to close down the PLO office and expel Alwazir from Finland.

"It was a trying time," she explains.

In May, Aghazarian covered a visit to Finland by Israeli president Chaim Herzog, the first Israeli presidential visit to the country. Aghazarian recalls that at a press conference for the Israeli president, the Palestinian flag and WAFA press pass pinned to her jacket created an atmosphere of tension. She briefly entertained the idea of walking up to the Israeli president and asking him, "Don't you think, Mr. President, that Palestinians who have lived in Palestine for hundreds of generations can safely claim that it belongs to them?" She didn't, however, and regret over that missed opportunity may have provided her incentive for forcing the two superpower leaders to comment on the Israeli occupation before a worldwide audience of millions.

Aghazarian's commitment to solving the Palestinian problem stems from the years she spent in her homeland. When she was three, her father packed her family into a 1964 Volkswagen and drove through Germany, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Syria to his hometown of Jerusalem. After Israel occupied all of Jerusalem in the 1967 war, Aghazarian recollects that things changed a great deal. "We were confined to smaller areas as huge settlements rose on surrounding hills to loom over our adjacent towns and villages," she recalls.

"A lot of construction and development went on, irrigation systems, theaters, operas, museums. The West was materializing in our midst, but we were the onlookers, not the beneficiaries.

"We learned that `Palestinian' was a dirty word, and that any signs of cultural or political awareness on our part would attract immediate retaliation," adds Aghazarian. "A Palestinian has to face an incredible amount of prejudice everywhere. I feel that we who suffer tremendously from our state of statelessness are blamed for it.”

Periodical sit-ins and demonstrations at the Schmidt's Girls School in Jerusalem were her first encounters with political expression. "We were divided between the obligation to study and the wish to express distaste for the lives our parents, relatives and neighbors had to lead," she explains. "We would be facing the same humiliation very soon.”

After completing high school in Jerusalem, Aghazarian attended the Arab College for Medical Professions in El-Bireh, and received a bachelor's degree in nursing. The scholarship she earned from the college took her to Indianapolis in 1983 to pursue a master's degree in psychiatric nursing.

Having been sheltered by strict social codes in Palestine, Aghazarian found it difficult to relate to the personal freedom individuals enjoyed in American society. For her, she says, "These proved to be a nightmare instead of a blessing.”

Aghazarian has equally harsh judgments on some Arab societies. "They can be very cruel," she concludes. "Women are still judged by puritan standards and must sacrifice their interest, time and ambitions in order to maintain archaic structures which uphold the ego of male members of the society.”

She adds that her criticisms of both Eastern and Western societies are based on her wish to see bridges of understanding between the two worlds. "The Western powers have never appreciated the rich cultures of the East," she maintains.

Two Motivating Events
Two separate events motivated Aghazarian to work for the Palestine News Agency. Israel's ambassador to Finland, a customer at the department store where she worked as a salesperson, noticed the Palestinian flag pinned beneath her name tag. "Oh, are you a Palestinian?" he asked pleasantly. "That's nice! My mother would be very happy to meet you -- she is a supporter of the Peace Now Movement." Ambassador Mordechai then kissed her hand and took his leave. Before departing the store, however, he sought out the management and demanded that Aghazarian be forbidden to wear her' "illegal flag.”

The other formative incident was the cold-blooded assassination of PLO leader Khalil Alwazir (Abu Jihad) in Tunisia by Mossad agents. To make things worse, at about the same time, Aghazarian's request for a visa to visit the West Bank, where she had grown up, was denied by Israeli authorities on the grounds that she had been absent from the occupied territories for more than three years and thus lost her residency rights. "I decided then that every Palestinian needs to support the organization which represents us," she explains. "But as a journalist, I will keep my oath not to get carried away with party politics or ideologies.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The Trained Poodles in Congress

Findley, Paul. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 55.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218792431?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

On the Charley Rose CBS television program one evening, I repeated with approval former Undersecretary of State George W. Ball's observation that when it comes to Middle East issues, United States congressmen behave like a bunch of trained poodles, jumping through the hoops held by Israel.

Providing the counterpoint that evening was the American Jewish Committee's former Washington representative, Hyman Bookbinder, one of Israel's most popular and effective lobbyists in Washington. He sharply challenged the poodle analogy:

"Paul, surely you don't want that remark to stand. After all those years working day-by-day with your colleagues in Congress, are you saying on nationwide television that they don't think for themselves, that they are so spineless and meek that they can be pushed around by a lobby?”

Sadness, Not Satisfaction
My response: "For the most part, the people I worked with as colleagues in Congress are fine men and women. They are more honest, hardworking and sincere than most people you will meet. They often show courage and independence. I believe that most of the time they try to do the right thing for their constituents and their country -- except where Israel is concerned. There they are spineless. A few probably toe the Israeli line out of conviction, but most of them do so out of fear. George Ball is right. On Middle East issues they certainly behave like a bunch of trained poodles. I don't say that with satisfaction. I say it with sadness.”

When 39 representatives, in a rare show of independence, strayed from the fold a few years ago by voting for Congressman Nick Rahall's amendment to cut out of an aid-to-Israel bill a $250-million grant to help Israel build its own fighter aircraft industry, one of the professional lobbyists for Israel explained: "I guess we were asleep. We shouldn't have lost 39 votes." He added: "During the vote, one congressman came to me, citing the presence of an aircraft industry in his constituency and asked if he could be released to vote for the amendment. Of course, I said no.”

Get the picture? A congressman came meekly to a lobbyist for a small foreign country and, tail between his legs, requested permission to vote the interests of his district on a spending amendment. Permission denied, he turned his back on his constituency and abjectly jumped through the hoop held by the lobbyist.

Had the amendment involved any country but Israel, it would likely have been approved without a single dissent. Because Israel's lobby disapproved, it lost by nearly 10-to-1, and many of the 39 congressmen who didn't jump through the hoop lived to regret their indiscretion. Each received a torrent of abuse from pro-Israel activists back home, and no praise from anyone else. Few of the 39 ever again failed to obey when Israel said jump.

Out-Lobbying the Lobbyists
Sometimes even the professional lobbyists for Israel are surprised at their influence. When the headlines and evening news first reported the hard evidence that US Navy analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard and his wife had stolen thousands of pages of military secrets as paid spies for Israel, the people who work for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Washington organization registered to lobby for the interests of Israel, braced themselves for trouble.

Even New York Times columnist William Safire, who customarily applauds Israel's behavior, declared: "The Pollards in America, and the spymasters in Israel, have done more to harm their respective countries than any terrorists could dream of doing.”

Alarmed, one of Israel's lobbyists figuratively tiptoed on his appointed rounds on Capitol Hill the next couple of days, making his usual dozen or so calls on senators, representatives and their staff leaders. He expected a firestorm of protests.

To his astonishment, not a single person he visited even mentioned the Pollard perfidy. Spying for Israel, even at such a level that Pollard eventually was put behind bars for life, seemed to be accepted as a ho-hum routine event, not worth mentioning.

Of course the senators, representatives and staffers knew about Pollard. Of course they felt outrage that Israel, the recipient of billions of dollars from the US Treasury, would hire a spy to steal our country's most closely guarded secrets.

Fear of Crossing Israel
Why did they say nothing about the episode in dealing with Israel's lobbyists? The reason: They were afraid. They were convinced that if they cross Israel in any way, even by expressing disapproval of spying, they will pay a price next election day. And, based on past experience, if they keep jumping through the Israeli-held hoop, no constituent will protest.

It is now clearly established that the government of Israel has paid the $200,000 lawyers received for the legal defense of the Pollards, is routinely depositing to Pollard's personal bank account $5,000 a month -- twice his pay as a spy -- and is shielding Pollard's Israeli accomplices from prosecution in US courts. So far as I can determine, not a single speech of protest against these outrages has been made in either chamber of the US Congress.

Congressmen will stop behaving like a bunch of trained poodles when their constituents demand that they stop. And only then.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The Middle East and Our "Received Wisdom”


Cooley, Laura. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 56.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218792615?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

At least one good thing may have come out of the current crisis in the Gulf. Americans are suddenly talking about the Middle East. At long last we are seeing Arabs and Arab nations as individuals and countries with political, ethnic, religious and cultural differences. No longer can the" Arab world" be seen as a monolithic bloc. Saddam Hussain may have been denied his "air time" with President George Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but some of the contradictions in US policy toward countries in the region have become apparent to even the most casual observer.

Changing one's "received wisdom" about anything is, however, a long, arduous process. Five years ago I probably could not have told you what a Kurd is, would not have dared venture an opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and might have confused Qatar for some new computer game. The Middle East was a muddle, or so I thought, and this excused my own muddled response to it. And anyway, I reasoned, as a Western woman having humanistic inclinations, I "knew" that the situation of Arab and Iranian women was reprehensible. The forced seclusion of women and, in some places, deliberate mutilation of their bodies did not pass my human rights checklist. I was thus content, at least for a while, to live with my simplistic understanding of the Middle East.

False Impressions
During the past decade I have discovered that many of my impressions of the Middle East and its people were inaccurate, stereotypical and downright false. I had grown up near Washington, DC, and in college I majored in international relations. Yet it took me a long time to realize how years of misguided messages in film and in the media had warped my view of "the Arab," and how that ignorance continued throughout a predominantly Eurocentric "liberal arts" education which never called upon me to question these assumptions.

There were no courses offered on Middle Eastern civilization, with the possible exception of art history. We did not read literature from that part of the world. When the Middle East was discussed, it was usually in political science classes within the context of concepts like "terrorism." Happily, since that time, the curriculum at Vassar has changed, as it has at most liberal arts colleges and universities in the US.

After graduating from college, I decided to live in a non-Western, predominantly Muslim culture. A Princeton-in-Asia fellowship took me to Indonesia, where I learned that Islam takes many forms, even, or perhaps especially, in this archipelago nation of over 13,000 islands, having the largest Muslim population of any single country. I learned the value of Javanese tolerance, and the practice of rukun -- a philosophy of mutual cooperation and harmony practiced in Java.

In Indonesia, I lived under the constraints of a military regime whose control was not always obvious, but sufficiently threatening to stifle any political discussion. The overcrowded villages of Central Java prepared me well for the poverty and densely populated refugee camps of Gaza, which I was to visit years later. The crucial difference, however, was that one group, the people of Gaza, was "stateless" and living under foreign occupation.

After two years in Indonesia, I returned to Washington, DC, to work at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. I became involved in a project on the psychological motivations for political violence. After a year of wallowing in terrorism literature, I attended graduate school in London, where I met many people from the Middle East, among them Kurds, Iraqis, and Palestinians living in permanent exile.

Almost two years later, after the intifada erupted and I was living once again in Washington, the lack of American response to human rights violations in the occupied territories seemed inexplicable to me. How could Americans watch film footage of Israeli soldiers deliberately breaking Palestinians' bones and not be outraged that our tax dollars were supporting these crimes?

I went to the West Bank on a human rights delegation in 1988 and met Palestinian women, men and children with nerves of steel. Through the experience of visiting Palestinian homes and villages, textbook abstractions of the "revolutionary spirit," which I had carefully collected over my years as a student of politics at Vassar, in Paris and London, came to life in the people I was meeting. These Palestinians had decided "enough is enough," and were intent on preserving their dignity and their state, regardless of the cost to themselves.

Sitting in a Nablus apartment in May 1988, I found myself in sympathy with a Palestinian woman who tried desperately to prevent her curious 14-year-old daughter from exposing herself to gunfire by leaning over the balcony to watch soldiers below. Minutes later, the same soldiers tried with an axe to break down the door to the complex we were staying in. I was terrified, both for myself and for the Palestinians hosting me. Upon returning to the US, I gave slide shows to various groups about the human rights violations in the occupied territories. For this I was called "pro-Arab" and "naive.”

A Dearth of Information
I believe that the dearth of information, and the abundance of misinformation, about the Middle East in the United States is a tragedy. I consider myself fortunate that the many stereotypes and false impressions I acquired from American media and academic sources have crumbled through my firsthand exposure to the Middle East.

In the last two years, I have been teargassed and shot at by Israeli soldiers, and I have been cursed by Palestinian men on the streets of Jerusalem. I have discovered that there is nothing terribly romantic about living under occupation (Casablanca notwithstanding) and that when searchlights shine in the windows of your home every few minutes and army jeeps rumble past at all hours of the night, you lose sleep. Ask the people of Nablus.

At home I have been subjected to personal criticism for my involvement in efforts to balance US Middle Eastern policy. I continue to see the ambiguities in US actions, and am increasingly discomforted by pat solutions to complex situations. As an American living abroad, the ethnocentric approach often adopted by US policymakers never ceases to astound me. How is it that, with all our so-called "experts" on the Middle East, the common level of knowledge about this part of the world is so inadequate? I hope that our "received wisdom" about the Middle East can become more balanced and respectful of its rich history and cultural traditions.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



NAAA Meeting AddresSes Gulf Crisis

Twair, Pat McDonnell. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 58.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796210?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Divisions over the US response to Iraq's August 2 invasion of Kuwait, and concern that war could soon break out, punctuated the 18th annual convention of the National Association of Arab Americans, Sept. 21 through 23, in Anaheim, California.

At a press conference opening the event, the first NAAA convention held outside Washington, DC, NAAA Associate Executive Director Khalil Jahshan stressed that the organization calls for Iraq's immediate withdrawal from Kuwait, the freeing of hostages and the observance of all United Nations sanctions.

"Occupation is occupation -- there are no exceptions," Jahshan stated. "The US reacted swiftly to the occupation of Kuwait, but has failed for decades to react to the Israeli occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, South Lebanon and the Golan.”

Noting there is a wide spectrum of opinion about Iraq's actions among the two and a half million Arab Americans, Jahshan stressed it is over the deployment of American troops that differences are strong. "The NAAA leadership took the position that we can't ask for the withdrawal of Israel from Arab land if we don't demand the withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait.”

This opinion was reiterated by former Congressman Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey, at a workshop entitled "The Influence of PACs on Middle East Policy and Techniques of the Israeli Lobby.”

"If Arab Americans back Saddam Hussain, they lose credibility," the California Republican stated. "The process that made Israel the strongest military force in the region can't be reversed. Palestinians can only win through US public opinion. You're on the verge of winning if you support the United Nations and President Bush.”

McCloskey's request for patience on the part of the Palestinians was answered by Mohamad Amad, an NAAA board member, during a panel called "The Palestinians Today.”

"The New Palestinian questions tactics of the past and is ready to tackle Israeli lies and myths that the Palestinians want to destroy Israel," Amad said. "The problem in the region isn't Iraq or Israel, the problem is the US. Nothing justifies the action of the US to mobilize 150,000 troops to protect Israel.”

The moderator, Dr. Sabri El Farra, and three panelists announced their disagreement with NAAA's approval of the deployment of US troops in the region.

Prof. Mahmood Ibrahim cited alternatives to the Bush-Saddam standoff. "All-out war between the US and Iraq is supported by the industrial-military complex and Zionists," he theorized.

"Another alternative is peaceful negotiation, but with the US troops in Saudi Arabia, I don't see this option taking place. If a peaceful solution appears likely, Israel will precipitate the crisis and attack Jordan or Iraq in order to drag the US into a war.”

A concurrent workshop entitled "Toward Realization of Peace in Lebanon" was moderated by Dr. Michel Nabti, with Ann Zwicker Kerr and Dr. George Irani as speakers.

The inevitability of war permeated discussions in a workshop entitled "The US Response to the Invasion of Kuwait: Positive and Negative Implications.”

Professor Richard Dekmejian of the University of Southern California warned, "If war occurs, it will be a very sad day for the Arabs, it will be worse than the defeat at May Es-Saloun." His reference was to Syria's defeat by French troops July 23, 1920.

This pessimism was repeated by Prof. Michel Suleiman of Kansas State University. "I'm despondent and upset," he said. "We decry chemical weapons and turn away from the fact Israel possesses nuclear bombs. We're against aggression in the Gulf, but we do nothing about Israeli aggression. We decry Iraq's human rights abuses, but we look the other way at Israel's monstrous trampling of Palestinian human rights.”

Prof. Suleiman said the US must engage in diplomatic efforts to reach a compromise. "The US always tells the Palestinians to do this, why can't it follow its own advice?”

The convention offered 12 workshops and panels, including a program offering separate Iraqi, American and Kuwaiti perspectives of the Gulf crisis.

Awards and Honors
Radio personality and political activist Casey Kasem and film producer Moustapha Akkad received awards of appreciation at a Sept. 22 luncheon. Also on hand was actor Robert Foxworth, who recorded panels and interviewed speakers for his "American Dialogue" program. Luncheon speaker was Jack Shaheen, author of The TV Arab and a professor of communications at the University of Southern Illinois.

During the national board meeting Sept. 20, Gabe Phillips was elected president of NAAA. Serving on his board will be Adeeb Sadd, executive vice president; Donna Nassor, vice president; Anne Speake, secretary; Dr. Ibrahim Hawatmeh, treasurer; and David Salah, assistant treasurer.

Grand finale to the convention was a satellite hook-up which enabled Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan to address American participants and answer their questions. Noting that Jordan has lived through successive wars and has sought a peaceful solution to the Israeli conflict, Prince Hassan said that "Occupation and annexation of any state is unacceptable. We called for the end of the occupation of Kuwait, but at the same time, our deep concern is over the second phase of this crisis.”

Prince Hassan pointed out that Jordan has opened its borders to evacuees from Kuwait equivalent to over 20 percent of Jordan's total population.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (Participants in NAAA's 18th annual convention)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Mossad Book Ban Angers Publisher

Dirlik, John. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  6 (Nov 30, 1990): 59.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218815358?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Although the Israeli government eventually abandoned its attempt to ban publication in Canada of a potentially explosive and embarrassing expose of the Mossad, its success in preventing the book's distribution for 10 days has angered at least some in the publishing community.

Arguing that revelations in By Way of Deception by former Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky could have "dire consequences to many people and presumably many countries," lawyers representing Israel won a temporary injunction from an Ontario Court of Justice.

But following a decision of the New York State Supreme Court to overturn a similar ban, lawyers for Israel chose not to ask for an extension of the Canadian injunction, since "the harm Israel was trying to prevent" had already occurred with the book's release in the US.

Although pleased with the final ruling, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association criticized the judicial system for even temporarily withholding the book without ample evidence that it would endanger lives. "Judges should look skeptically at the claims made by states, because there is a tradition of confusing embarrassment with dangerousness," said general counsel Alan Borovoy.

The Toronto publisher of By Way of Deception was even more outspoken, saying Canadians should be "angry" that a foreign government was able to suppress freedom of speech in their own country.

Sally Tindall, spokesperson for the Stoddart Publishing House, said the prior restraint order was" unprecedented" and expressed surprise at the "extraordinary influence" of Israel. Asked if others in the publishing industry had rallied behind her firm, she answered, "Interestingly, no. We did receive a lot of calls from concerned individuals, but it was basically us against the state of Israel.”

This sentiment was echoed by the book's co-author, Claire Hoy, a respected columnist for the Ottowa Citizen. "We didn't hear anything from journalists' organizations or the writers' union of Canada," he said. "I would have thought that people in the freedom of speech business would have been a little concerned.”

Hoy admitted, however, that the publicity generated by the court's decision was instrumental in pushing the book to the top of Canada's best seller list. "This is a publisher's dream," he said.

One of the allegations of Edmonton-born Ostrovsky is that the Mossad has set up a network of companies in Canada as cover for its agents and regularly uses forged or stolen Canadian passports to move its spies around the world. Ostrovsky, who worked for Israel's secret service from 1984 to 1986, also charges that a number of Canadian members of United Nations peacekeeping forces were paid by Mossad to transport messages and packages across Middle East borders.

Canada was among the first countries to provide UN peacekeeping troops in 1953 when it sent soldiers to patrol the borders between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

"Canadians were a great target" for recruitment by the Mossad, alleges Ostrovsky, because "they were friendly. They tended to be nice people.”

Perhaps the most damaging revelation by Ostrovsky for Israel's image in the West is his claim that the Mossad had prior knowledge of the 1983 suicide attack in Lebanon that killed 241 American servicemen, but refused to give the Americans specific warning. "We're not there to protect the Americans. They're a big country," Ostrovsky quotes a top Mossad official as saying.

School Will No Longer Bar Pro-Palestinian T-Shirt
Unyielding pressure from the Arab community forced an Ontario schoolboard to reverse a decision that barred 10-year-old Yesmeen Musa from class for wearing a pro-Palestinian T-shirt.

Saying they were given enough assurance that the "We fight for our right" slogan on the controversial garment did not necessarily advocate violence, the Scarborough Board of Education revoked its ruling and issued an apology to the girl and her family.

Immediately after, a smiling Yesmeen proudly wore her T-shirt to class. Her father, Abdallah Musa, said his family fought the school's ban because they valued their Palestinian heritage. "We don't forget our origins simply because we are Canadian citizens," he said.

Abdallah also said he was pleased that one of the Jewish teachers who sparked the dispute by complaining about Yesmeen's T-shirt had called his daughter and expressed regret for the ordeal to which she had been subjected.

Jim Kafieh of the Canadian Arab Federation, which organized the protest against the ban, described the outcome as an "important victory." He expressed concern, however, over the intolerance and discrimination that caused the controversy in the first place. "Had Yesmeen not been Palestinian, this would never have been attempted," he said.

Kafieh said that the unjustified removal of Yesmeen from class had "struck a sensitive chord" in him because he recently returned from the West Bank, where he encountered firsthand the arbitrary denial of Palestinian rights by Israeli authorities. "We sure as hell are not going to let anyone arbitrarily define our rights here in Canada," said Kafieh.

The Canadian Jewish Congress and B'nai B'rith Canada, both of which had supported the banning of the T-shirt, expressed reservations about the school's decision. "This situation may have been resolved to the satisfaction of the parties, but the board should give thought to the development of a policy as to what is acceptable in T-shirts, because surely not everything goes," said Manuel Prutschi, director of community relations for the Canadian Jewish Congress.

B'nai B'rith of Canada complained that "this issue is a challenge to [the Scarborough school board's] policy and may have long-term implications on the ability to remove materials from the classroom which are deemed offensive.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



What America's Arab Allies Need to Know About US Responses to Events in the Gulf

Killgore, Andrew I. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 5.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784394?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

There are very important long-term implications for the United States and its Arab friends flowing from the present crisis in the Gulf. For the US, it becomes imperative to settle the Palestine problem if it is to maintain a strong position in the Middle East. For its oil-producing Arab friends, it means devoting larger portions of their incomes to help the poorer Arab states.

Getting from the present tense situation without bloodshed to the point where all parties can devote themselves to these essential long-term considerations depends on how the United States reacts to each of three possible scenarios.

Scenario #1: The UN Embargo Forces Iraq to Seek a Way Out
The underlying assumption of all three scenarios is that under no circumstances can President Bush tolerate Iraq remaining in control of Kuwait. If Iraqi President Saddam Hussein succeeded there, his combination of vaulting ambition and military strength might tempt him later to seize physically the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, and thus dominate the 60 percent of the world's oil reserves that lie in the Gulf. And Washington believes that domination of that oil by any one country in the Gulf would endanger US vital interests. The two countries in the Gulf potentially strong enough to dominate the whole Gulf, of course, are Iran and Iraq. Happily for the United States, all other countries in the Gulf, including Iraq and Iran, share our conviction that their own interests would be jeopardized if any one country, other than themselves, became predominant.

Although the United States is today the pre-eminent economic/military power in the world, our freedom of action in the Gulf crisis is circumscribed by deep Arab resentment of our double standard of always favoring Israel. When Saddam Hussein charges the US with opposing his occupation of Kuwait but supporting Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, millions of ordinary Arabs applaud. While these masses do not necessarily admire Saddam as a person or favor his aggression, their resentment against the United States bursts forth when he symbolically shakes his fist at Israel and the United States.

In the current crisis, the United States must live with Arab resentment built up over four decades of Israel-above-all American policy. We also have to recognize that this resentment rubs off on Arab governments now cooperating with us against Iraq, and that there is a political cost to them for seeming to be too close to the Americans. That is why, after this crisis is resolved, it becomes categorically imperative for the United States to settle the Palestine problem if we are to maintain our position in the Middle East and the position of our friends in the area.

Facing current realities, the United States seeks to settle the Kuwait issue without war not only to save American lives but in recognition, so far unarticulated by President Bush or the American media, that the spectacle of Americans attacking and killing Arabs could so inflame the Arab masses as to weaken Arab governments supporting our stand against Iraq. President Bush could also eventually face an internal crisis if American forces have to stay too long in Saudi Arabia, or if too many months pass and the economic embargo against Iraq still has not induced Saddam to evacuate Kuwait. But present policy is based on the confident expectation that economic sanctions will eventually force Iraq to withdraw.

The US faced and still faces pressure from Israel and its lobby in the US to somehow let Israel have a hand in the crisis. Israel fears losing its "strategic standing" in Washington as its uselessness to the United States in the present crisis gradually becomes apparent to the American public, and as the indispensibility of their Arab friends finally dawns on the American people.

The US has warned Israel to stay out of the Gulf crisis and not to exploit it for an attack on Jordan, which some of Israel's Likudniks seem eager to do. So far President Bush's popularity remains so high that Israel is unlikely to risk jeopardizing its standing in Washington by flouting US desires. The administration would do well, however, to repeat its warnings to Israel. Unilateral Israeli action would throw all of the scenarios out the window, with potentially catastrophic results.

Options for the Arab World
Meanwhile the Arab states should do everything possible to encourage the positioning in Saudi Arabia of more troops from Arab and Muslim countries, so that American forces can gradually be drawn down. They already are pumping more oil to make up for the loss of Iraqi and Kuwaiti supplies. And, as they support the embargo on Iraq, they must make it very clear that they expect reciprocal support from the United States to settle the Palestine problem.

Scenario #2: Embargo Fails to Produce an Iraqi Withdrawal
Although this scenario seems unlikely, no one can guess how long Saddam can hold out. Keeping American military forces in Saudi Arabia for a long period of time will be detrimental to the US and its Arab friends. So, after the heavy initial buildup, some US forces may be drawn down and replaced by Arab troops and detachments from Muslim countries.

As months pass, public pressure in the United States will build on President Bush to "do something." The president does understand the Middle East and the predictable negative reaction in the area to Americans fighting and killing Arabs, including Iraqis. Eventually, however, he may be forced by US public opinion to initiate limited military action if the embargo of Iraq seems not to be working. The purpose would not be to destroy Iraq, but to drive home to Saddam Hussein that the US will never permit him to retain Kuwait.

The president might elect to destroy the Iraqi air force and its bases to "blind" Iraq and its military command. Attempts to limit Iraqi casualties would accompany this action. With no "eyes" in the sky the Iraqis would be unable to see the disposition of forces against them.

If destruction of Iraq's air force did not induce Saddam to withdraw from Kuwait, military pressure would gradually be stepped up by hitting communications facilities and supply concentrations from the air. Land confrontations would be held to the last, but these will be employed if ultimately necessary to drive Saddam from Kuwait. Obviously, attempts to eliminate the Iraqi president physically could be expected.

Both air and land fighting would involve non-American forces to the extent possible.

Perhaps the main point to emphasize is that President Bush is in a strong position at home. The no-questions-asked supporters of Israel are unhappy with him, but they cannot challenge him openly at this point. The situation Bush faces is worrisome, but one way or another the United States and its friends will get Iraq out of Kuwait.

It is frequently said that the situation in the Middle East will never be the same, but rarely are these predictions made specific. To my mind, a fundamental change is that the United States now cannot fail to see its unpopularity with the Arab masses, and the cost of this unpopularity to Arab governments cooperating with us. Nor can the US and the American public fail to understand that our irresponsibility in not solving the Palestine problem is the basic cause of the bitterness against us. It follows, and this is the good news, that President Bush and Secretary of State Baker will be obliged to force a solution to the Arab-Israeli dispute.

In the Middle East, the unpopularity of Kuwait and its rulers must now be apparent. They are widely regarded in the area and in the United States as being arrogant and selfish in not doing more to help the Arab have-nots. If the Al-Sabah family is restored to power, as is the assumption now, it will have to systematize a more generous giving to the other Arabs. The other Arab oil producing states must do the same, in their own long-term interests.

Scenario #3: Iraq invades Saudi Arabia
With every passing day this scenario becomes less likely, but it cannot be entirely ruled out, given President Saddam Hussein's ruthlessness and unpredictability. He may correctly assume that the economic blockade, sustained for a long period of time, as it will be if necessary, will in any case cost him his regime and ultimately his life. So to leave a "legacy" of struggling heroically to the death for what he will say is "the Arab cause," he could opt to go down fighting by sending his tanks into Saudi Arabia.

Some say that the US overreacted, because Saddam never intended to attack Saudi Arabia. Even if originally true, however, an American reaction to the invasion of Kuwait limited to verbal reproval might have led the opportunistic Iraqi president to invade the Saudi Kingdom. A strong reaction to Saddam's aggression by the US and its supporters was therefore an urgent necessity for President Bush. Imagine the crisis the US would face today if the president had not reacted and Iraq were already in occupatior of the Saudi oil fields.

As matters stand now, the Pentagon believes, and is advising the president, that if he attacked at this juncture, Saddam's air force would have no chance at all against the US Air Force, with its more sophisticated technology. Thus the Iraqis would quickly lose control of the air over both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Iraqi tanks would suffer devastating attacks from the air, and could no longer mount a successful land attack against either Riyadh in central Saudi Arabia or the Saudi oil fields along the Gulf coast.

Even if Iraq did belatedly attack Saudi Arabia, the US would probably still not need to risk vital petroleum production facilities by mounting a land attack against Iraq or its forces in Kuwait. The embargo on Iraq, especially on the export of Iraqi oil, supplemented by diplomatic and political pressure on Iraq from the rest of the world including the Arab League, could inevitably force Saddam to withdraw from Kuwait.

Options for the Arab World
While Arab and some Muslim countries continue to send defensive land forces to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League must search diligently for a diplomatic route to enable Saddam Hussein to retreat from Kuwait without launching a suicidal military effort. He realizes by now that he has overplayed his hand and that the world will not tolerate his conquest. His sudden agreement to all of Iran's conditions for peace, especially including his agreement to share control of the Shatt Al-Arab River, reflects Saddam's weak position. His concessions to Iran now reveal to the Iraqi people that all of their sacrifices in Saddam's war were in vain.

The Arab League should offer the Iraqi president some face-saving token to obviate the possibility that he would destroy Kuwaiti production facilities before withdrawing. There is much to gain and little to lose by facilitating his peaceful withdrawal.

Possibilities of long term Iraqi leases on Kuwait's Bubiyan and Warba Islands to facilitate Iraqi access to the sea, and Kuwait's financial "compensation" to Iraq for earlier Kuwaiti pumping from the Rumaila field, should be considered. While Saddam might initially survive pulling out, the hope, indeed the expectation, is still that eventually his own people will bring him down. If it happened that way, he would forfeit his role as a "martyr" for the Arab cause.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Bush, Gorbachev and the "New World Order" in the Middle East

Curtiss, Richard H. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 7.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218780688?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

"Whether we want it or not, history dictates that a lot is going to depend on whether the two countries con work together. That's not our ambition; it's just the way that history has gone.”

-- Mikhail Gorbachev, at joint press conference with George Bush in Helsinki, Sept. 9, 1990
It's not premature to insist that the rapid international response to the Aug. 2 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait marks the beginning of a "new international order." It's already trite to say that because of events set in train on that day, the Middle East will" never again be the same." In fact, if those changes improve the Middle East for all of its inhabitants, the planet will never again be the same.

How does the Middle East get from the perilous present to being better and safer for everyone? By setting a course based upon the implications of the Sept. 9 joint press conference by presidents George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev in Helsinki. And by avoiding the pitfalls along the way.

The UN: Never Again the Same
"I think the world sees clearly that if this had occurred 20 years ago, there wouldn't have been this cooperative feeling at the United Nations.”

-- Mikhail Gorbachev, Sept. 9, 1990
Never has it been clearer than since the beginning of the Gulf crisis that everything in the world has changed. The US would not have rushed its forces into the Gulf as decisively as it did, had it been worried about the Soviet Union fishing in their troubled wake. Twice, however, President Bush let his feelings outrun prudence.

When a US Navy ship fired the first warning shot across an Iraqi bow, cooler heads told the president to slow down and let the Security Council turn unauthorized individual acts of war into authorized acts of collective defense. When Bush called for a total embargo on food, cooler heads inserted into the UN embargo loopholes for food and medicines for humanitarian purposes. The UN, thanks to Soviet cooperation, then became a source of support for wise collective actions, and a brake on foolish ones.

Next, talk about a long Western presence on the ground should end. When Arab and Muslim troops can protect Saudi Arabia, then it's time for Americans to pull back to their ships and planes to enforce the embargo, and put some distance between themselves and the conservative citadels of the Arabian peninsula. Both sides are the better for brief initial contacts. Let it go at that.

The UN resolutions were in response to illegal aggression by a Soviet ally against an American ally. But, in deference to principle, the Soviet Union did not exercise its veto. If there is to be a new world order, such actions must be reciprocal, based upon one principle for all.

The US failed to apply this principle last April, just prior to Saddam Hussein's aggression, when the UN Security Council sought to send UN observers into Israeli-occupied territories. The US vetoed the resolution. In the future, vetoes by either side of such collective action against aggression would doom the "new world order," and leave the planet unchanged.

Jordan: The First Pitfall
"Jordan feels that Israel is looking for an excuse to turn Jordan into a battlefield and perhaps push Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank across the border.”

-- Jerusalem Correspondent Jackson Diehl, The Washington Post, Aug. 20, 1990
"Plucky young King Hussein of Jordan," as he was known two generations ago, has ruled far longer than any other Middle Eastern chief of state. Now he's in trouble.

The Palestinians, who constitute more than half of his population and have no country of their own to lose, seem unconcerned that Jordan could lose its independence by supporting Saddam Hussein's doomed campaign. Jordan is overwhelmed by foreign refugees from Kuwait and Iraq, and is dependent financially upon continued trade with its embargoed Iraqi neighbor.

King Hussein doesn't need lectures from the West or his oil-producing former bankrollers. He needs immediate financial help to offset the grave consequences on Jordan of the embargo.

Then he needs a lot of luck to keep his tinderbox country from becoming the catalyst for a war that would undo all of the Bush-Gorbachev efforts to bring about historic change by peaceful rather than violent means.

Saddam Hussein: How to Back Off the Limb?

"Americans knew that Saddam Hussein was not Saint Francis of Assisi, nor did they see him as Adolf Hitler, who, after all, led a powerful and successful nation and who had a realizable blueprint for world domination. Saddam Hussein's Iraq is incapable of feeding itself, has fewer people than the state of New York, and with a population roughly the same as that of East Germany has a gross national product one-fifth the size of that beleaguered European state.”

Columnist Mark Shields, The Washington Post, Aug. 28, 1990
It's the second time President Saddam Hussein has proven himself a master of mistiming. In 1980, after Iran's Islamic Revolution first decimated Iranian military officers because they had prospered under the Shah, and then devoured the westernized liberals and democrats who had worked with the fundamentalists to overthrow the Shah in 1979, Saddam judged the time was ripe. He sent Iraqi forces across the Iranian border in September 1980.

The invasion did not get Iraq back the Shatt Al-Arab waterway, and did not pluck off for Iraq Arabic-speaking parts of Iran's oil fields. Instead, it united the Iranians behind the previously disintegrating government of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and turned into a bloody eight-year stalemate for both countries.

By massing his troops on the Kuwaiti border, Saddam had already achieved most of his demands on Kuwait. By sending them across the border in fulfillment of Iraq's dreams to make Kuwait "the natural port of Iraq," however, he forfeited everything. That included even Iraq's claim on the Shatt Al-Arab, ostensible cause of the war with Iran in which Iraqis suffered so much.

Now, once again, Saddam desperately needs a way to crawl back off the limb. If the Kuwaitis tell him that after he withdraws peacefully they will resume negotiations on leased facilities to improve Iraqi access to the sea, it might be the figleaf he needs, whether or not the Kuwaitis ever carry through.

Saddam could otherwise choose to go down in a fiery Gotterdammerung, the closest he'll ever get to being a Middle East Hitler. He could take his country, its oil-fields, and maybe those of his neighbors with him. The way to start this disaster would be to strike at Israel, or simply send some of his forces or planes into Jordan, giving the Israelis the pretext to strike at Iraq.

Going down fighting Iraelis would make an immortal Arab martyr of Saddam Hussein, pit Arab masses against Americans and their Arab allies all over the Middle East, and make a mockery of American and Soviet plans to stabilize the area.

Saddam Hussein's other chance to become an Arab hero, but this time a living one, might arise if the Bush administration listens to urgings by Israel's merchants of bad advice. They want the US to repeat Henry Kissinger's mistake of the '70s by seeking to stir up another Kurdish rebellion, or to repeat Khomeini's mistake of trying to incite a revolt by the Shi'i of southern Iraq.

Either foolish action could unite Iraq's ruling Sunni Arabs behind Saddam, just as surely as he inadvertently united Iran. It might also attract significant support to Saddam by the overwhelmingly Sunni Arab world, and from neighboring Turkey, which is Sunni and has its own serious Kurdish problem.

Syria: No Choice But to Switch Sides
"Reaction here is ambiguous. Iraq is always our enemy. We have had their car bombs in Damascus. At the same time, everybody hates the Kuwaitis.”

-- Unnamed Syrian quoted by John Kifner, The New York Times, Aug. 28, 1990
Damascus shopkeepers are said to hope Hafez Al-Assad's opening to the West will be good for business. At the same time, there are reports of harsh measures taken against rioters protesting the Syrian president's decision to send Syrian troops to help defend Saudi Arabia.

In the short run, neither matters. Syria is as much a police state as is Iraq. In fact, Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad has no choice. His country has lived on financial aid from Saudi Arabia, and spent much of it on arms from the Soviet Union. If he had taken any other decision, there would have been no more of either.

Syria's new stance opens up possibilities for the "new world order," however. It's a chance to begin easing Syrian forces out of Lebanon after all Lebanese parties finally accept the even-handed "Taif agreement" to divide power equally between Lebanese Christians and Muslims.

It's also a chance to get Syria to negotiate Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Golan Heights. The Israelis don't want to do it for the same reason they don't want to withdraw from the West Bank. It has nothing to do with security, and everything to do with water. The Golan contains the headwaters of rivers the Israelis depend upon, and much of the water from them flows through aquifers under the West Bank. Getting the real issue on the table, however, is the first step in reaching a division of those waters with which all sides can live.

The Palestinians: Everyone's Cause
"The veteran Israeli politician Abba Eban is widely credited with coining an aphorism about Palestinian diplomacy that has stuck for many years: The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Now some Israelis might modify that: The Palestinians never give up a chance to hurt their chances." -- Joel Brinkley, The New York Times, Sept. 2, 1990
To everyone in the Arab and Islamic worlds, and millions elsewhere, the Palestinian cause is unique. Not since the Armenians in World War I, and the Jews in World War II, has a people suffered more injustice or indignity, and neither of the aforementioned victims suffered so long.

Incredibly, after half a century of deception by the West, expulsion by the Israelis, exploitation by other Arabs, betrayal by the Soviets and massacres in Lebanon, the Palestinians are depicted by Israel's admirers in the US media not as victims, but as terrorists.

In fact the Palestinians have been victimized for so long that they no longer seem capable of pursuing their own best interests. Their chosen leader, Yasser Arafat, can't lead them. His extremist rivals for Palestinian leadership are fools, traitors and worse. But Palestinians will reject any leadership encouraged or imposed from outside.

They have been betrayed by everyone, and everyone feels the guilt. The unresolved Palestinian problem is, indisputably, the major cause of instability in the Middle East. Anyone who denies the Palestinians have a grievance is a scoundrel. Anyone who seeks to stabilize the Middle East without addressing it is a fool. The US, with a larger share of both than the Europeans, should pass the problem to the United Nations Security Council, and then follow the no veto rule. It can be solved there in a manner with which both Arab and Israeli moderates can live.

In August, Democratic Senator Daniel Moynihan of New York, long a member of Israel's American cheering section, but also author of a new book on international law, noted:

"We've had some pretty egregious violations of international law in the past, but the great powers had different interests and in those conditions this UN system cannot work. Now the major powers have convergent interests and the mechanism of the UN is there waiting to be used.”

Israel: Two Reasons for Wanting War
"While talking to Israeli right-wing politicians, it is easy to detect their fervent hope that the present crisis in the Gulf will not be solved by peaceful means. They hope that if an Iraqi agression drives us to a war, all options will be open including the establishment of a Palestinian state of sorts in Jordan and the settling of all the Land of Israel's Arabs there after expelling them from here.”

-- Israeli politicial correspondent Shalom Yerushalmi writing in Jerusalem weekly Kol Ha'ir, Aug. 31, 1990
The Israeli press is full of worried speculation that the moment long-awaited by Likud hardliners like Ariel Sharon, racist demogogues like Meir Kahane, and religious fanatics like Moshe Levinger has arrived. They seek war as a pretext to push all of Israel's Arabs into Jordan. Their slogan is, "Palestine exists, but in Jordan," and they plan to remove any potential for its existence in the West Bank and Gaza.

To the right-wing warmongers now can be added "moderate" Israelis who fear that if the Middle East stabilizes and the US shifts its affections to traditional Arab allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, there will be no more US aid to Israel. A war, any war, in which Americans killed Arabs and vice versa would postpone that wrenching experience.

For these two reasons, some Israelis are trying to make a US war with Iraq, or an Israeli war with Iraq, happen. Either will involve Jordan. Left to their own devices, these Israeli hawks will succeed.

The United States: Reining in Israel
"As for the housing loan guarantee, which has already been approved by congressmen, Mr. Baker and Mr. Levy discussed the assurances that Israel would give Washington that none of this money would be spent in the occupied territories. While both men said they made progress on these assurances, they did not resolve all of the outstanding issues and until they do, the guarantee will not be issued. On the stalled peace negotiations, the Administration...said Mr. Baker's message to Mr. Levy was that one of the best ways for Israel to counter Saddam Hussein politically, and to prove that he is not the wave of the future in the Middle East, is by demonstrating to Arabs and Palestinians that there are credible alternatives to his confrontational approach to dealing with the Arab-Israel issue.”

Correspondent Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times, Sept. 6, 1990
George Bush is the first US president since Jimmy Carter to come into office knowing what must be done to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian settlement. The account above indicates that his smart and tough Secretary of State is doing it. Israel must be told, morning, noon and night, that the US will not tolerate any actions, or reactions, that get Americans killed fighting Israel's battles.

And the Israelis must know that we mean it. Israel must settle with the Palestinians to lower the danger to Americans in the Gulf. Bush and Baker must go before Congress and explain that the US must no longer subsidize an Israel that insists upon being a strategic liability to America.

If Bush and Baker can keep the governments of Saddam Hussein and Yitzhak Shamir from starting the fight for which each is spoiling, the embargo eventually will settle the problem of military aggression and occupation in the Gulf.

It will stay solved, however, only if the US leaders apply the same standards, just as zealously, to aggression and occupation in the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and Lebanon.

In answer to a question by a representative of the Palestine News Agency at their joint press conference, Bush refused to link the Kuwait problem with the Palestine problem, although he said of the latter:

"I couldn't agree more that it is important, it is very important that that question eventually, and hopefully sooner than later, be solved.”

Gorbachev, on the other hand, was forthcoming: "Even more than in the case of the Persian Gulf, we need to act more energetically in order to resolve the complex of problems in the Middle East...It seems to me that there is a link here.”

That sounds like applying the new world order in the Middle East. If Bush and Gorbachev do it successfully, peace, justice and security could break out anywhere.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The Passing of Yitzhak Rabin, Whose "Iron Fist" Fueled the Intifada

Sosebee, Stephen J. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 9.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218810910?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The formation of a right-wing, Likud-led government this spring ended Yitzhak Rabin's six-year reign as Israeli defense minister. Like the terms of presidents in the US, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is divided into eras characterized by policies formulated under the ministers of defense of the Israeli government. The Rabin era was perhaps the most significant period in the modern history of the Palestine-Israel dispute, for it witnessed the birth of one of the most unique revolutions of the 20th century: the intifada.

The intifada as a mass popular uprising against foreign domination, of course, is not finished, and it seems clear that Mr. Rabin's star has not disappeared in the ever-unpredictable world of Israeli politics. Due to the completion of his reign as defense minister, however, Rabin's rule deserves particular examination, for his contribution to the nature of the Israeli occupation may have left a lasting mark on future prospects for peace in the Middle East.

A Hated Name
Though the lack of political or civil rights of the Palestinians made the mass uprising a matter of time, it is the name "Rabin" that most young Palestinians spit out as the Israeli most responsible for their current suffering. Though few remember his stints as prime minister and chief of staff, occupied Palestinians recognize that his rule as the defense minister greatly influenced their lives during the mid-1980s.

It was, in fact, Rabin's policies that gave direction to the timing, scope, and intensity of the intifada. Furthermore, the intifada's domestic political effect on Israel has been the collapse of the second Likud-Labor coalition government, resulting from a deep lack of consensus between the two parties in dealing with the Palestinians. As a result of the collapse, Rabin, who arrogantly threatened, and tried for more than two years, to crush the revolt, has been chalked up as the intifada's greatest victim.

The Rabin era in the occupied territories began in 1984, with the formation of the first Likud-Labor coalition government. While most Middle East observers at this time were watching the slow and bloody Israeli withdrawal from central Lebanon, the new defense minister from the Labor Party initiated a policy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip called the "iron fist.”

Though the Israeli occupation has never been anything but planned and formalized misery for the Palestinians, the "iron fist" in 1985 turned the screws further by increasing administrative and collective measures carried out by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) against the civilian population. Rabin was quoted then as saying the purpose of these new measures was "to make life so difficult for the Arabs that they leave the territories.”

The basic error of Rabin and the Israeli government at this time was to underestimate the determination of the Arabs to stay, rather than making the mistake of leaving Palestine as they did in 1948 and 1967. Remaining in Palestine despite inflicted misery became the basic form of resistance to the "iron fist." That changed, however, in December 1987, when a spark in Gaza ignited pent-up mass frustrations, creating an unexpected and unprecedented revolt.

The documented human rights abuses of the IDF in the occupied territories after 1984 reveal significant increases in the level of mass collective and indiscriminate punishments. Before 1985, the demolition of homes -- a form of collective punishment illegal under international law and used nowhere else in the world except by the state of Israel in its occupied lands -- was confined basically to cases where Palestinians were suspected of killing or wounding Israeli soldiers or settlers. In 1982, for example, the Israelis destroyed 17 Arab homes for this reason. In the second year of Rabin's rule, however, the IDF blew up or bulldozed more than 102 houses for "security-related" charges which included non-violent resistance to Israel's occupation and virtually anything concerning manifestations of Palestinian national identity.

No Trial Required
For Arab home owners, the occupation authorities do not require a trial to prove a suspect's actual guilt. Nor did Rabin at that time seem overly concerned with the fact that many innocent family members (including children) were and still are instantly made homeless for the suspected acts of an individual, sometimes a teen-aged member of an extended family living in the house. It is such indiscriminate and collective reprisals which built up mass frustrations against an occupation that was already horribly oppressive. These frustrations later were channeled into the intensity and determination of Palestinian youths which has provided the staying power of the intifada.

Rabin also brought back the use of deportation and transfer, another administrative punishment that had fallen out of use by the IDF during the late 1970s. Like the Palestinians whose homes are demolished, Palestinians who are deported are never actually tried in court to prove their guilt. Between August 1985 and April 1986, 36 Palestinians were deported from the land in which they were born by a defense minister who, ironically, emigrated to the country as a young man from Europe. Again, this fueled mounting frustration and rage among the occupied.

Other measures employed as part of the "iron fist" include imprisonment without trial, town and house arrest, torture during interrogation, curfews, settler violence, and permissive IDF policies for the use of live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators. These measures are still employed by the Israelis against the Palestinians in the intifada, though they violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and a variety of other basic human rights laws. The use of deportation by an occupying power was, in fact, defined as "a war crime" at Nuremburg.

Once the mass revolt broke out in Gaza, Rabin predictably dealt with dissent the only way he understood; through the use of lethal and overwhelming force. As his efforts failed, new tactics were employed, such as the assassination of young activists by Shin Bet and military death squads, and month-long curfews. Considering that the Palestinians are an unarmed civilian population and the IDF is trained to fight other armies, the "iron fist" against the intifada has evolved into a "dirty war," along the lines made familiar by repressive right-wing governments in Latin America, due to the IDF's use of excessive force and brutality.

Policies of a "Dirty War”

A clear indication that the "iron fist" is now a "dirty war" was the infamous declaration by Rabin in January 1988 that the IDF would crush the uprising through "force, might, and beatings." In effect, Rabin had ordered his troops to systematically break the bones of suspected and often innocent civilians after they had been apprehended.

Another"dirty war" policy of Rabin concerned the use of firearms against unarmed civilians. The IDF open-fire policy was liberalized after it became clear the uprising was more than a short-term revolt. In September 1988 Rabin announced that a new "plastic bullet" was to be employed against the intifada. Up to that time, the IDF had killed more than 150 unarmed civilians with live M-16 bullets. Though the world's impression was that this new "plastic" bullet would decrease the level of bloodshed, Rabin declared that the "aim" of the "plastic" bullets was "to increase the number of injured, but not kill them." Within four weeks UNRWA recorded a six-fold increase in the number of injured and dead Palestinians from IDF gunfire.

In January 1989, Rabin permitted IDF soldiers to shoot at anyone near a roadblock or demonstration. Again casualties among the Palestinians increased. In July 1989, Rabin granted IDF soldiers the authority to open fire at anyone whose face was masked. Such orders have, in effect, provided a license to shoot any Arab, without determining if that person was doing anything "illegal.”

It was Rabin's personal battle with the West Bank Christian village of Beit Sahour, site of Bethlehem's "shepherds' fields," that proved to be the biggest blow to the Labor Party hard-liner. In an act of collective civil disobedience, the residents of Belt Sahour refused in the fall of 1989 to pay taxes until they had legitimate political representation.

In October 1989, Rabin vowed in the Knesset that there would be "no nonpayment of taxes" in Belt Sahour. "We will teach them there is a price for refusing the laws of Israel," the defense minister vowed. He clamped a 40-day curfew on the village and began confiscations of household property as a means to collect revenues. Beit Sahour stood firm and eventually, under great pressure from Western Europeans, many of whom joined their consular representatives in trying to break through the siege lines, Rabin was forced to end the siege and the confiscation of household properties.

Rabin's Mark in History
The intifada has ensured that Yitzhak Rabin's mark in history will be as the man who tried but failed to crush a civilian uprising with overwhelming military force. During Rabin's 28-month effort, the IDF recorded the following statistics: Over 800 Palestinian civilians shot, gassed or beaten to death; at least another 60,000 injured; over 400 homes destroyed; over 90 people deported from their homeland without trial; thousands of dunums of Arab land confiscated; the closure of all universities; the torture deaths of more than a dozen political prisoners; the closure of all West Bank schools for over a year; the forced separation of over 250 families; and the detention of nearly 10,000 people without trial. (These figures do not include Palestinians killed by Jewish settlers, or other deaths and woundings not recorded or admitted by the Israeli Defense Forces.) It is important also to remember that the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is only about 1.7 million people.

The "iron fist" of Yitzhak Rabin in the occupied territories did great damage to any future possibilities of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East. By demanding a "correction" of the Palestinian "problem," the intifada both created unprecedented opportunities for negotiations and recognition, and a collapse of the coalition government. Being to some extent responsible for creating many of the conditions that gave birth to the uprising, Rabin is, in effect, a victim of his own monster. This is almost certainly how history will remember him.

Meanwhile, the new defense minister, Moshe Arens (who held the post previously, in the early 1980s), has promised to deal with the Palestinians in the same fashion as Rabin. Arens has also agreed to establish a "civilian guard" in the territories, composed mainly of Jewish settlers.

Such policies suggest that there will be little change in the level of bloodshed and misery in occupied Palestine in the near future, and in the number of human beings senselessly killed and wounded, before the failure of the occupation becomes obvious.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Cartoons (Yitzhak Rabin)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Middle Eastern Leaders Fear Lobby Control of US Congress

Anderson, John B. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 15.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218794783?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Four senators, led by Connie Mack (RFL), introduced legislation that would cut off any further dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). One of the constituent elements of the PLO is the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF). It is headed by Abul Abbas, who this spring launched an abortive attack on beaches near Tel Aviv with heavily armed small boats. The senators' grounds are the failure of PLO Chairman Arafat to rid the executive committee of Abbas. Although disavowing any advance knowledge or complicity in the terror tactics of the head of the PLF, Arafat says only the Palestine National Council, the 400-member parliament-in-exile of the proclaimed state of Palestine, has authority to remove Abbas. Abul Abbas is clearly a violent leader of a maverick faction which does not accept the disavowal of terrorism by the umbrella organization, the PLO.

Was This The Time?

Was this the time to break off US-PLO talks of a year-and-a-half duration? Should we have abandoned any further effort to engage the PLO in talks which could lead to Palestinians and Israelis sitting down to settle their dispute, which in more than four decades has resulted in five wars? Just two months before the invasion of Kuwait, I returned from two-and-one-half weeks in the Middle East. As a member of a Peace Mission for a Just Solution in the Middle East, sponsored by PAX World Foundation, I had the opportunity to visit Jordan, Syria and Egypt, before going on to Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza.

From King Hussein of Jordan, President Hafez Al-Assad of Syria and the foreign minister of Egypt, we listened to extended criticisms of US foreign policy. For me, they shed a great deal of light on why so many Palestinians are critical of US intervention in the current Gulf crisis, and why Saudi Arabia and other friendly Arab states are so concerned about accepting the US military assistance they feel they need to defend their countries against possible Iraqi aggression.

Interestingly enough, Middle East leaders were more critical, or so it seemed to me, of the US Congress than of either the president or his secretary of state. They are convinced that members of Congress are both ill-informed about what is happening in the Middle East and anti-Arab in their views. My former colleagues would not find it very flattering to discover that they are universally regarded as totally under the control of lobby groups which see only one side of the Arab-Israeli dispute.

A Matter of Survival
Mayor Elias Freij of Bethlehem complained: "For us, peace in the occupied territories is a matter of survival. All our universities have been closed, some even before the intifada, which began 30 months ago. More than 40,000 of our high school graduates have been deprived of any opportunity for higher education.

"Between midnight and 3 am, the Shin Bet [the secret service of the occupying Israeli military authorities] drag our young men out of their houses. Some are simply beaten. Others are detained, often without charge or trial for many months.”

He concluded, " We want a demilitarized state of our own, and then eventually a Benelux arrangement or economic union with both Israel and Jordan. I would like to see my grandchildren and those of Shamir playing football together without fear.”

Mayor Freij, who has been mayor of Bethlehem for 25 years, is a moderate. He offered a total disclaimer of the use of force and violence, but he warned that events on the West Bank and in Gaza were becoming more explosive with each passing day. I was reminded of what our ambassador in Jordan had told us a few days earlier. We were in a region where if events were not moving in the direction of peace, they would almost inevitably be moving toward war.

A Passionate Cry for Independence
Visits to a refugee camp and a hospital in Gaza provided powerful evidence that the intifada will not be suppressed with rubber bullets, tear gas, curfews and other forms of collective punishment. A girl with a severe head injury, and a young man with a bullet in his knee both assured me they intended to continue the struggle. The cry for independence and freedom is a passionate one.

Talks with Moshe Arens, foreign minister in the last government of Israel, and just named defense minister of Shamir's newly formed rightist government, were highly revealing about likely future Israeli positions. Shamir himself had refused to see us even after several requests were made.

The government of Israel does have legitimate security concerns. Certainly a two-state solution, with an independent state of Palestine existing alongside Israel, would require iron-clad international guarantees. However, the thinking of the new government utterly precludes any arrangement which would provide for a state of Palestine. In Arens' words, "It already exists. It lies in the state of Jordan." Not only does King Hussein reject this proposition, but so does every single Arab leader with whom I met.

The winds of change which toppled regimes and brought democracy to Central and Eastern Europe have not produced similar results in the Middle East. But make no mistake about it, those winds are reaching gale force. Yehoshafat Harkabi, former chief of Israeli military intelligence, has written Israel's Fateful Hour, in which he argues persuasively that it is precisely because of security reasons that negotiations leading to an independent Palestinian state must proceed. The present policy of not negotiating is a dead end. He then cites a former longtime US ambassador to Israel, Samuel Lewis, for the proposition that in the realm of foreign policy a mistake by a great power is merely an episode. However, for a small state of 4 million people like Israel, a mistake is a tragedy.

Those of us who have long cherished and admired an independent state of Israel want to see tragedy averted. That is precisely why a policy based on a continued refusal to negotiate is wrong. It would be wrong for either the US or Israel to assume that stance.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Syria Changes Tactics in Pursuit of the Same Long-Term Goals

Raschka, Marilyn. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 16.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796267?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Arab diplomats in Beirut see Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad as the first big winner in the current Gulf crisis. It will slake his thirst for Saudi Arabian cash and cheap oil, and may serve his desire to see rival Saddam Hussein of Iraq toppled. For the price of 1,100 Syrian troops now deployed with Egyptian and Moroccan contingents along Saudi Arabia's borders with Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, Syria has insured itself of being on the "buttered side of the bread" in the Gulf.

Although they might not be shoulder-to-shoulder, Syrian and US troops could find themselves in a joint operation to hold the line on the price of oil.

The new improved Assad's old, dangerous "Mr. No" image will vanish in the dust of US tanks on maneuvers in the Saudi desert. Assad the outsider, the sponsor of revolutionary guerrilla groups, Assad the cynical powerbroker in Lebanon, Assad the ally of hostage-involved Iran will disappear like a desert mirage.

President George Bush's phone call to Assad at the onset of the Gulf crisis and his dispatching of Assistant Secretary of State John Kelly to Damascus for talks contributed to the wily Syrian's decision.

A Dangerous Decision
In spite of his traditional revolutionary stance, however, Assad's decision to ally himself with Saudi Arabia and the United States came easily. He knows that although President Saddam Hussein's energies appear to be directed toward Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich states, if Saddam gained the upper hand it would not be long before he would turn the heat on Syria, his only rival for leadership in the Fertile Crescent.

Syria backed Iran in its 8-year conflict with Iraq in hopes that Tehran would topple Saddam Hussein. But Iraq emerged from the conflict a military power bent on establishing its own hegemony over the eastern portion of the Arab world and possibly the Arab states of the Gulf as well.

Iraq and Syria are ruled by rival factions of the Baath Socialist Party. Each has been engaged in attempts to bring down the other for many years. Saddam Hussein seized total power in Iraq 11 years ago, after declaring that a Damascus conspiracy to topple the Iraqi government had been discovered.

Assad does not need to stretch his imagination regarding what Iraq could do to hurt Syria. Last year Baghdad provided heavy weapons, ammunition and funds to Lebanese Christian forces for their" war of liberation" to drive Syrian forces out of Lebanon. Baghdad has continued to supply ammunition to General Michel Aoun's Maronite Christian Lebanese army units, and presently is training helicopter pilots for the rival Christian "Lebanese Forces" militia, which, like Aoun, has been ardently anti-Syrian.

In reality these Iraqi military adventures in Lebanon are more a bother than a threat to Assad's firm hold over 60 percent of Lebanese territory. But they do demonstrate Saddam Hussein's post-Iran war determination to keep the Syrian pot boiling wherever he can turn up the heat.

Many Lebanese, who despise Syria's presence in Lebanon, see Hussein's blitz of Kuwait as proof that he is the long-awaited Arab messiah, not just for Lebanon but for the whole region.

This fervor has even spread among Syrian troops here in Lebanon. One Lebanese commented to a Syrian army captain that Hussein was mad. Quickly the officer replied, "No, not at all. He's a hero.”

But the real hero for Arab masses will be the Arab leader with the will and the where-withall to confront Israel. Assad served notice early on in the Gulf crisis that he would not waste his energies defending Iraq against an Israeli attack.

Unidentified members of a Syrian delegation to the Cairo summit held just after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait were quoted as saying that Syria would not interfere with such an Israeli attack. President Hussein "bears full responsibility for exposing Iraq and the rest of the Arabs to grave dangers," one Syrian official was quoted as telling delegates.

These words were highly unusual from a government like Syria's, which has lectured its fellow Arabs for years about joining hands in confronting the Israelis, and show how serious Syria's repositioning in the face of Iraq's split with the Gulf states has become.

Born "An Orphan”

The Syrian position is that the modern state of Syria was born "an orphan." Its historic identity, bilad al-sham (Greater Syria) never achieved political reality after the break-up of the Ottoman Empire. Instead the Western powers split the area into four separate political entities: Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. Syria's already frustrated nationalist ambitions were dealt a second blow when Palestine was further partitioned into a Jewish state, and a stillborn Palestinian state, in 1948.

The modern Syrian state's only natural defenses against Israel, the Golan Heights, were occupied by Israel in 1967. Syria's small population of about 10,500,000, and an unstable economic base, put the brakes on the realization of the ruling Baath Party's dream of turning the country into a model Middle Eastern revolutionary center.

Assad's failure to energize the Syrian state forced him to "feed" at the hands of the rich Arab oil-producing states. Although never comfortable with the close links between Saudi Arabia and Washington that watered down the possibilities of an armed confrontation with Israel over the Palestine issue, Assad knows that, thanks to its oil resources, only Saudi Arabia has the kind of real clout with Washington that could result in US political pressure on behalf of the Palestinians.

Practical and calculating, Assad may claim today that the way to Jerusalem is through Riyadh and is well paved with a minor military commitment on Syria's part. But the Syrian leader sees the route open to two-way traffic and will expect to see cash and cheap oil on the Damascus-bound lane. And should Saddam Hussein end up a "traffic fatality" along the way, so much the better.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (President Asad and President Mubarak)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Iraqi Invasion Reverses the Pecking Order in Bilateral US Relations

Wamsted, Dennis J. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 19.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218780632?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's seizure of Kuwait on Aug. 2, in what he termed a bid to redraw the imperialist-era geographic borders of the Gulf region, is unlikely to succeed. Ironically, however, the invasion has led to dramatic revisions in US relations with such key Middle Eastern states as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel.

Perhaps most important, the invasion has prompted many on Capitol Hill to rethink their reflexive support for Israel. This support has often prompted Congress to oppose arms sales to America's Arab allies, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, even when those sales posed no threat to Israel, and to balk at administration attempts to forge a compromise settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

But now, all this is changing.

For example, within weeks of the invasion, the Bush administration had drafted and proposed multi-billion-dollar arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, with barely a whisper of dissent from Israel or its supporters in Congress. In years past, indeed only months ago, either proposal would likely have provoked howls of protest from Israel and touched off a bruising political fight with Congress. In addition, the administration almost immediately launched a review of its foreign aid program, with an eye toward rewarding the Egyptian government for its support of US policy by easing its crushing $7 billion military debt to the United States.

These initiatives, as well as a host of others, portend changes in US regional policies that will not be completely understood for months or even years to come. Specifically, the diplomatic language that the US has used against Iraq and its attempt to acquire territory by force is likely to compel the US -- at some point in the future -- to play a more aggressive role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. In fact, Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN), the influential chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, observed the parallels in the two situations almost immediately. The Wall Street Journal quoted Hamilton in mid-August as saying: "If the US opposes the acquisition of territory by Iraq, it may very well be pushed over time to do more about Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.”

Beyond this, the wholehearted support of the Egyptian and Saudi governments for the US measures against Iraq, particularly their open military cooperation, is likely to enhance US relations with both countries. This cooperation is also likely to lay to rest past criticism from the pro-Israel lobby and its congressional backers that these two Arab countries are unwilling to be too closely identified with US regional policy.

While the complete ramifications of the Iraqi invasion remain uncertain, developments over the past six weeks demonstrate a dramatic shift in US policy, and in congressional attitudes, particularly regarding US arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Saudi Sales
Less than four weeks after the Iraqi invasion, the Bush administration announced its plans to sell a weapons package worth at least $2.2 billion to the Saudis. Beyond the speed with which it was proposed, the package is notable for two reasons: 1) it has elicited virtually no opposition from the pro-Israel lobby, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or its congressional supporters and 2) it breaks a number of congressional prohibitions that have long governed sales to the Kingdom.

As announced, the package includes: 24 F-15 jet fighters; 150 M-60 tanks; 50 Stinger antiaircraft missile launchers and 200 missiles; and thousands of rounds of armorpiercing, depleted uranium artillery shells for the M-60s, which will give the Saudis the capability to challenge the best tanks in the Iraqi armed forces, the Soviet-made T-72.

The inclusion of the 24 F-15 fighters, the top-of-the-line US combat jet, shatters a longstanding congressional prohibition barring the Saudis from taking possession of more than 62 of the fighters at any one time. Once the planes are delivered, the Saudis will own 86 of the high-performance jets. The prohibition was waived by the administration when it announced the sale.

Similarly, Congress has in years past barred the administration from selling Stinger missiles and their launchers, as well as the depleted uranium tank shells, to countries in the Gulf. These prohibitions have also been waived by the administration.

Lobby Leanings
Despite all this, along with sales announced prior to the invasion that were worth an estimated $7 billion, Israel's congressional supporters have been eerily quiet. Indeed, one of the most vocal opponents of past sales, Sen. Alan Cranston (D-CA), has already said he will support the planned weapons transfers.

"I was the leader of the opposition, but not anymore," said Cranston in the middle of a trip to Saudi Arabia during the August congressional recess. "Now they are allied with us and they are sitting on the front lines." Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D-NY), another past critic of sales to the Kingdom, has also said that he would be "more receptive" to administration sales proposals.

It is worth remembering that it was Cranston, along with Reps. Mel Levine (D-CA) and Larry Smith (D-FL), two other vocal opponents of arms sales to the Saudis, who wrote President-elect Bush just before he assumed office to oppose a rumored sale to Saudi Arabia of the Ml tank. These tanks are part of the $7 billion in arms already transferred to Saudi Arabia this summer. We view with alarm...the prospect of a new, divisive proposal to add our most offensive weapons systems to the already teeming Saudi arsenal," the three wrote in late 1988.

Future Sales
Plans are also in the works for another huge sale to the Saudis worth up to $8 billion, according to published reports. This sale, unannounced as of this writing, which the administration hopes to push this year, would include: 24 more F-15 jet fighters; 385 or so M1A2 tanks; 400 Bradley fighting vehicles; an unknown number of armored personnel carriers; and thousands of trucks and support equipment.

That this sale is even under consideration, coming so close on the heels of the already announced proposals, is a clear indication of the change in US policy over the past few weeks. That the pro-Israel lobby has said virtually nothing regarding any of these proposals also speaks volumes about the changing political climate.

Egyptian Expectations
The planned sales to Saudi Arabia are far larger in dollar terms, but the proposed sale to Egypt is of similar importance, particularly as Egypt would have to finance the purchases with US aid monies, while the Saudis will almost certainly pay cash for their weapons. According to published reports, the administration is planning to transfer at least 40 F-16 jet fighters, Maverick air-to-ground antitank missiles, cluster bombs, and associated other weaponry to the Egyptian government. All told, the deal is worth an estimated $1 billion.

But of even greater importance is the administration's publicly announced desire to forgive Egypt's roughly $7 billion military debt to the US. The Egyptian government currently owes the US a total of about $12 billion in civilian and defense debts, and is up to $1.5 billion in arrears on its payments. This indebtedness dwarfs Egypt's current aid levels from the US, which have remained stable at just over $2.1 billion in economic and military aid, along with about $200 million in yearly food aid. As with the various arms sales, this initiative, officially proposed by the White House in early September, requires congressional approval.

Unlike the arms sales, which are not likely to generate any significant opposition in Congress, the administration's debt forgiveness plan is likely to spark some protest, if for no other reason than the proposal's budgetary impact. According to White House figures, Egypt is scheduled to repay $750 million in debt this year. These funds would be sorely missed in the tight budgetary climate that prevails in Washington today.

Beyond this, any special treatment for Egypt would, almost inevitably, have to be extended to other major indebted aid recipients, particularly Israel and Turkey. Concerns about this eventuality were raised by Rep. David Obey (D-WI), the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee that controls the US foreign aid program, immediately after the plan was released by the White House. "I don't think it makes a hell of a lot of sense to consider the Egyptian situation in a vacuum," Obey was quoted as saying by The Wall Street Journal. "I want to know what the next shoe is going to be, and the next one.”

Israeli Incentives
In the short run, Israel will also inevitably benefit from the current Gulf crisis, since the administration is unlikely to stray from past US policy to maintain that country's qualitative military edge, particularly regarding its highly treasured air superiority. It is uncertain how this edge will be maintained, but one much-discussed option would involve allowing Israel to purchase one of the newest US weapons systems -- the Patriot ground-to-air antiaircraft missile. The US may also sell additional F-15 and F-16 jet fighters to Israel as a means of offsetting the planned sales to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Beyond this, there will almost certainly be changes in the amount and composition of the foreign aid the US earmarks for Israel, which has remained steady at roughly $3 billion for the past several years. The administration may propose an outright increase in aid to Israel, although the budget situation may preclude such a proposal. More likely, particularly in the short term, are proposals to boost aid to Israel at the margins.

For example, the US currently provides Israel with $1.2 billion in economic aid each year. Unlike other aid recipients, Israel receives these funds in a lump sum at the beginning of each fiscal year (October 1). This action allows Israel to invest the money as it sees fit, earning interest for the Jewish state while depriving the US Treasury of these funds. The cost to the Treasury of this largely unseen benefit is estimated at $50 million a year. Now, there is talk of restructuring Israel's military aid account so that it would receive the entire sum, now $1.8 billion, at the beginning of the fiscal year. Such a switch would save Israel millions of dollars in financing charges, while similarly forcing the Treasury to forego millions of dollars in lost interest.

Further, if the administration wins approval from Congress to forgive all, or even part, of Egypt's military debt to the US, Israel will likely receive similar benefits. Israel's military debts with the US total about $4.6 billion from previous arms sales.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The Failure of 40 Years of One-Sided US Middle East Policy

Moses, George. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 20.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218810761?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The failure of more than 40 years of American Middle East policy became official on the August 1990 day the first American ground troops stepped off airplanes into the blast-furnace summer heat of Saudi Arabia, in response to the invasion of Kuwait and the threat that the invaders would not stop there.

Unless aggression is the goal, effective national policies are those which reach national objectives without recourse to armed force. That is the standard we use in America, and by that standard we have failed miserably.

It was, unfortunately, a predictable and avoidable disaster. By inserting a huge pro-Israel blind spot where a self-serving American policy toward the Arab world should have been, we helped to create the conditions which tempted Saddam Hussein to make his so far successful land grab. Those conditions are a bitter legacy of years of misguided effort.

A Bitter Legacy
Part of that legacy is anti-American feelings in the Arab world so deep that it prevents some governments (most notably Jordan, but there are others) from acting in their own interests. Can anyone really believe that Jordanian sovereignty can be guaranteed if the Iraqi gambit in Kuwait succeeds? Interestingly, there is more than one immediate threat to Jordan. If the Likudist Israeli government decides that the threat of an imminent or likely Iraqi takeover of Jordan can be sold to the Congress, Israel might just go ahead and take Jordan for itself. Defensively, of course.

Another part of the legacy is the pervasive political instability caused by our failure to create a just solution to the Palestinian problem. For years, despite our obvious ability to do so, we failed to exert sufficient effort to resolve this problem out of our reflexive deference to Israeli objectives over American ones. Now American soldiers stand to pay with their lives for this failure rooted in domestic rather than international political concerns.

Most galling of all, however, has been the apparent success of the claque of pro-Israel hawks in the United States in persuading policymakers that these American failures were actually successes. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy has dedicated itself to presenting Israeli national objectives as American ones. Since its inception, for example, it has stated that the Shamir elections ploy was a genuine opportunity for peace; that the Palestinians needed to build Israeli confidence before they could be considered for even limited autonomy; and that there was no real reason to worry about oil prices.

Writing in the summer issue of Foreign Affairs, Institute Fellow Barry Rubin had this to say about US Middle East policy:

"There must be recognition that US Middle East policy has enjoyed a remarkable degree of success in the long run...US influence has been maintained, a Soviet bid for hegemony has been turned back, US commitments to Israel and other allies have been kept, wars and instability have been circumscribed and oil supplies have been preserved...The lessons of these accomplishments should be fully appreciated.”

The ink was barely dry on this erroneous pronouncement when we faced the second oil price shock in as many decades; the spectacle of American influence with some Arab governments so diminished that our very presence was enough to prevent their acting with us to combat naked aggression; an unprecedented series of UN Security Council resolutions aimed at averting the threat of a Middle East war; and the emergency deployment of large numbers of American troops into an environment particularly unsuited to its capabilities. Perhaps from an Israeli perspective these could be called successes, but American "appreciation" of these accomplishments is likely to be mixed, at best.

Not Just Errors of Intellect
Sadly, these mistakes are not just errors of intellect. For some, Arab-bashing is a substitute for sober analysis of American interests. Rubin's article begins by listing in its second paragraph Arab "radicals." Included is Syria, presently cooperating with the United States in Saudi Arabia. Missing is Iraq, the cause of the most immediate threat to regional stability. He could have assembled an almost enviably useful list of "Arab radicals" with a dart board. And, as is often the case with Arab bashers, non-Semitic Iran is lumped in with the Arabs, perhaps to demonstrate a sort of congenital instability.

As long as the biases represented by this kind of thinking hold sway, the United States will never succeed in the Middle East. Instead, we will be condemned to a sort of "muddling through" from crisis to ever-worsening crisis.

It is possible, however, that a fundamental change is about to overtake the policy debate on the region. A major felicitous fallout of the deployment has been a crash course in Arab history, culture and politics for American officials, media and the public. Congressmen and reporters who previously relied on Israel, AIPAC and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy for their information about the region are now being exposed first hand to the Arab world. If one listens closely, it is possible to hear the occasional sound of an anti-Arab myth exploding.

If this consciousness increases sufficiently, the next objective could be an honest pursuit of US interests by putting an end to the Israeli policy of occupation outside of its borders. As more and more Americans see the basic similarity between Iraqi and Israeli occupations, the question of why we fight the one and fund the other is going to become more difficult for apologists to avoid. If major bloodshed over Kuwait can be averted, the solution to the underlying problems lies at hand.

That will be an acheivement to be "fully appreciated.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Palestinians and the Gulf Crisis: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Bahbah, Bishara A. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 33.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218815472?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Although Palestinians are not a direct party to the conflict in the Gulf, the outcome of the Gulf crisis will shape the course of Palestinian history.

Why?

The Palestinian people are already paying a heavy price for their apparent support for Iraq in the Gulf.

Kuwaitis have accused Palestinians living in Kuwait of having been a fifth column for Iraq. Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries have expressed extreme displeasure with the Palestinian vote during the Emergency Arab League summit that was convened in early August to deal with the Gulf crisis. The state of Palestine and Libya were the only two countries that voted with Iraq. The resulting displeasure will eventually affect formal and private aid to Palestinians from those countries, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

A High Price to Pay
Aside from a precipitious drop in financial support from these countries, there are an estimated one million Palestinians living in the Gulf area. Those living in Kuwait, approximately 350,000, have already seen a significant portion of their savings, mostly in Kuwaiti dinars, lose over half of its value. Moreover, their sources of livelihood have been jeopardized with the Gulf at the brink of war. The combination of these factors has led to a significant decline in the value of remittances to their families in the occupied territories.

More importantly, since the eruption of the Gulf crisis, media coverage of the intifada has almost ceased, with the exception of the coverage of Palestinians' reaction to events in the Gulf. And almost all efforts toward finding a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict have ceased.

Given the price Palestinians are made to pay, why have the Palestinian masses supported Saddam Hussein and Iraq?

First, it is heartening for most Palestinians to see an Arab leader standing up to the world. Saddam Hussein's behavior has ignited Arab nationalism throughout many parts of the Arab world.

Second, Saddam Hussein is willing to take on Israel if threatened. In fact, he has warned that he would destroy half of Israel if the latter were to attack Iraq.

Third, many Arabs deplore the Gulf countries' decision to seek US military assistance. After all, the United States, through its military, political and financial support, is the country that makes it possible for Israel to maintain its occupation of Arab lands.

Fourth, Saddam Hussein has promised to share with the underprivileged Arab people the wealth of the rich Arab countries. Palestinians would presumably top the list of the beneficiaries. Although Arab Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, but also including Kuwait, have provided financial assistance to the Palestinians, Palestinians consider it "peanuts" compared to their overall wealth.

Ironically, few Arabs or Palestinians delve into Iraq's reasons for invading Kuwait. Their interest and concerns are directed toward the international reaction to its occupation of Kuwait.

Where does the PLO fit into all of this?

The PLO has attempted to be a neutral mediator in the crisis. However, its vote with Iraq during the Arab League summit has disqualified it as a mediator in the eyes of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. At the same time, if the PLO had not voted with Iraq, it would have lost all its influence with Saddam Hussein.

Notwithstanding, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has worked incessantly since the beginning of the crisis to try to contain it and avoid the outbeak of war. President Arafat proposed a "peace plan" under which US and Western forces in the region would be replaced by UN troops, sanctions against Iraq would be ended and the resolution of Baghdad's claims to Kuwait would be linked to the solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and other regional problems. This plan has been rejected by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The PLO, at the same time, is aware of the strong feelings of a majority of Palestinians and cannot afford to alienate its constituency. The PLO finds it hard to support the intervention of US troops and will not, under any circumstances, side with US military intervention against an Arab country.

The stakes are high for the Palestinians. If Iraq is defeated, the wealthy Arab countries, as well as Egypt, are going to penalize the PLO and the Palestinians for their apparent siding with Iraq. Nevertheless, the Palestine question is central to most Arabs and few Arab rulers can disregard that reality. At the same time, if Iraq prevails or the crisis is defused, how that will affect Israeli behavior and willingness to withdraw from occupied Arab lands remains to be seen.

Willy nilly, the Palestinians are faced with an unenviable situation, between a rock and a hard place.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Occupation is Occupation

George, Jawad F. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 34.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218810839?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The current crisis in the Gulf presents serious challenges for Arab Americans. The prospect of war, with massive American and Arab casualties, is not a welcome thought in our community. As a matter of principle, all major Arab-American organizations unhesitatingly opposed the Iraqi invasion and annexation of Kuwait and the use of innocent men, women and children as hostages. A similar consensus emerged in the UN. The National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA), moreover, supported the Bush administration's decision to meet the request of the government of Saudi Arabia for a defensive US troop deployment in the region.

Nevertheless, irrespective of their specific positions on the Gulf crisis, most Arab Americans are deeply frustrated at the lack of consistency and credibility in US policy in the Middle East. While the US moved swiftly to prevent Iraq from consolidating its hold on Kuwait by invoking the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, it has failed to invoke the same principle against the Israeli occupation of Arab lands. As a result, the US position in the Gulf crisis has been severely weakened. Had the US in the past enforced its own laws concerning US aid with respect to Israel, the present geopolitical situation in the Middle East would be far more favorable to US national interests.

Despite the billions of dollars in US foreign aid that it receives annually, Israel can play no significant role in attempts to solve the current crisis. Indeed, the US has had to warn Israel to take no military action that could inflame the situation.

The defensive deployment of US troops in Saudi Arabia presents inherent dangers for the US and the Arab world, including the possibility of the outbreak of large-scale hostilities. Barring this undesirable eventuality, the Gulf crisis provides an opportunity for the US to deepen diplomatic relations with its Arab allies and to strengthen US national security interests in the region by securing the unconditional withdrawal of all Iraqi forces to the international borders, restoring the legitimate government of Kuwait and securing the release of all hostages.

US policy can only succeed, however, if two conditions prevail. First, it must be based on international consultation and cooperation. The US deployment must remain defensive in nature and fulfill its objectives within a multinational framework. Second, the principled policy of the US cannot continue to be applied selectively and retain its credibility.

There is a major lesson that must be learned by all sides in the Gulf crisis. For its part, the US must come to the realization that the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, which is now being used as the cornerstone of the US justification for its opposition to the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, must be applied as forcefully in the case of the Israeli occupation of Arab lands. On the other hand, those who side with Iraq in the Gulf crisis must understand that they cannot effectively oppose the occupation of Palestine while at the same time justifying the Iraqi occupation. Occupation is occupation, regardless of the identity of the occupier or the occupied.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Apply One Standard to Iraq and Israel

Kader, Omar. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 34.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796646?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Arabs are engaged in bitter debate over the current Gulf crisis, with friends, relatives, and old allies challenging each other's loyalties, principles and pedigree. The exchanges rage over three issues: 1) rich Arabs versus poor Arabs, 2) Islamic versus secular democratic government, and 3) the fate of Palestinians and their continual humiliation by Israel.

The issue of wealth distribution to assist the poor in the Middle East is as serious as it is anywhere else in the world, but history has shown that force is not the answer. The second issue, that of Islamic fundamentalism, is a serious one, but in the long run it will lose impetus as Arabs absorb the lessons of the recent events in Eastern Europe, where democracy is a growing phenomenon.

It is the third issue, the Palestinian cause, that should remind Arabs that their desire for Arab solidarity does not justify settling a dispute by aggression. If it is wrong when Israel invades and occupies Arab land, then it is wrong when Iraq invades and occupies Kuwait. There is no logical or consistent argument that can sustain the case for Palestinian freedom and for Iraq's takeover of Kuwait.

When Saddam Hussein attempted to bundle his support for the Palestinian cause with his occupation of Kuwait, he demeaned the Palestinian cause.

Having suffered military aggression and occupation, Palestinians have always rejected illegal occupation as a means of settling political disputes. Every dispute must be resolved through mediation and negotiations. Otherwise the lives of innocent people are destroyed and the societies in which they live are disrupted by the machinations of political leaders.

This current Gulf crisis should serve as a reminder to the international community that problems of borders and national rights in the Middle East need to be solved once and for all, in order to thwart those who would attempt to exploit the Palestinians or any other national group for their political ambitions. Americans can learn through this crisis of the danger to the international community of ignoring one of the principal sources of instability in the Middle East -- the Palestinian/Israeli problem.

Whether this crisis ends in a diplomatic solution or a military confrontation, the Palestinians will still be calling on the United States and others in the region to address the injustices that have been heaped on them for the past 45 years. We have a legitimate case against Israel for its occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights and South Lebanon. These territories are under occupation as a result of naked aggression. It is untenable for any Arab, here or abroad, to view illegal occupation of other peoples' lands with other than one standard. To do so robs the Arab cause of its legitimacy and the support of law-abiding citizens of the world.

Iraq's occupation of Kuwait is wrong and must be reversed. Palestinians and other Arab Americans, therefore, should seek the high ground in this dispute and maintain the integrity of their position against Israel by opposing aggression and occupation everywhere, and by upholding international law and respect for territorial integrity wherever it applies.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Let's Review Recent History

Taima, Fuad. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 35.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796390?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

After the armies the British deployed from India drove the Turks out of Iran in World War I, British bases there played a role in World War II, and the British continued to consider the area part of their "sphere of influence." Until the 1958 revolution, Iraq's government was known for its pro-West commitments. As the main player within the "Baghdad Pact," which also comprised the United Kingdom, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran and the US, Iraq was well positioned to defend Western interests against any expansion of Soviet influence to the Arabian peninsula.

The 1958 revolution, in which King Faisal II and Prime Minister Nuri Al Said were killed, resulted in the establishment of the Republic of Iraq. It also initiated a period of intense mutual suspicion, in which Iraqis feared that the West, particularly the British, were trying to regain their former privileged status.

Iraq's diplomatic relations with the US, which were severed at the time of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, were resumed in 1984. In the intervening years, Iraq had experienced internal instability, a Kurdish separatist civil war, and it was still engaged in a bloody eight-year war with Iran. The US, Israel and the United Kingdom all played roles in these events, which brought great suffering to the Iraqi people.

The end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988 promised a new era of cooperative political and economic ties with the United States. A substantial relaxation of Iraq's internal security measures became evident, as was a slow but steady growth of US-Iraqi commercial ties. By the end of 1989, Iraq had become America's second largest trading partner. Major US contractors such as Brown & Root, Bechtel and Parsons were actively involved in Iraq's economic growth.

Neither President Bush nor President Hussein has ever visited the other's country. Neither has any direct knowledge of the other's institutions or interests. They do, however, have one acquaintance in common, namely British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She has consistently shown intense personal dislike for President Hussein and the conduct of the Iraqi government on a wide range of regional and international issues. President Bush has a strong positive relationship with Mrs.Thatcher and her government.

Since September 1989, Mrs. Thatcher and her government have been waging a highly effective and negative campaign against the government of Iraq. The conflicts arising between the British and Iraqi governments should be viewed objectively, however, in the context of British interest, ambitions, commitments and colonial traditions visa-vis the Arab world in general, and Iraq in particular.

President Bush and his administration need to re-examine whatever policy recommendations regarding the current explosive conflict have been suggested by the government of Mrs. Thatcher. It is my opinion that our policy is being manipulated by Mrs. Thatcher and her government on a wide range of Arab world issues. She still views the region and its resources as an exclusive province for British interests. In our own interest, we need to recognize Prime Minister Thatcher's position, and act accordingly.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Gulf Crisis Tests Maghreb's Unity

Amiar, Jamal. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 36.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218797902?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

From its first day, the Gulf crisis has put the unity of the two-and-a-half-year-old Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) to a serious test. Faced with Arab-world divisions elsewhere, the challenge has been to keep the union of North African Arab states tight. As a result, although the five Maghreb states have not been able to manage a common stand on the Gulf crisis, neither have they split.

Five Positions on the US Presence
At the Aug. 10 Arab League summit meeting in Cairo, UMA member states Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia each took a different position on the US military presence in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. Algeria abstained, Libya voted against, Mauritania expressed reservations, Morocco approved, and Tunisia did not attend the meeting. The group of five, however, ensured that their differences did not have lethal consequences on their union. Within the UMA each government acknowledged from the outset that the others had their own constraints and self-interests.

For Rabat, it was clear from the first hours of the Gulf crisis that the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and the threat it posed for the oil monarchies of the Gulf area, also threatened the stability of the Moroccan regime. Morocco was the first Arab state to officially condemn the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

So far, Rabat's decisive stand has created few problems at home. Political parties and the press on the whole support King Hassan's insistence on Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait and the return to power of Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah. Some political groups, however, have expressed deep reservations concerning the presence of US military forces in the Gulf area. There was an agreement that no solution to the crisis is possible before the return to the status quo ante in the Gulf, and Rabat did not hesitate for long before deciding to send 1,200 troops to participate in the "Desert Shield" operation.

In Algiers, the government officially condemned both the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia. Various political parties ranging from Ahmed Ben Bella's Movement for Democracy in Algeria to Abbassi Madani's Islamic Front of Salvation organized marches to protest the US military presence.

In fact the crisis embarrassed many Algerian leaders. For example, the leadership of the Islamic Front, the main opposition party, was torn between two contradictory stands: it condemned the "US military presence in the holy sites of Islam," but it also tended to back Riyadh against what it considers the leftish and atheistic Baghdad regime.

In Tunis, the situation was similar to that in Algiers. Perhaps even more than the Algerians, the Tunisians have absolutely no sympathy for any foreign military presence in the region.

Tunisians vividly remember Israel's aircraft attacking the PLO headquarters in Tunis, and American aircraft attacking Muammar Qaddafi's residence in Libya. Not surprisingly, a poll conducted by the newsweekly Le Maghreb found that 79 percent of Tunisians supported Baghdad's policy in the Gulf. At one point, however, the government warned journalists against excessive praise for Iraq, and excessive criticism of the Gulf states.

In Tripoli, the Libyan government condemned the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and, for obvious reasons, the presence of the US military in the Gulf area as well. On Sept. 1, President Muammar Qaddafi presented his own peace plan, calling for Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait in exchange for the withdrawal of US troops from Saudi Arabia. Libya was the only Maghreb state to announce it would not respect one aspect of the trade embargo of Iraq -- that on foodstuffs.

The government of Mauritania expressed its official position at the Aug. 10 Cairo summit: it had reservations concerning the presence of US troops in the Gulf. It did not address any other aspect of the crisis. In recent years, Nouakchott has been receiving military assistance from Baghdad and is rumored to have lent its territory to Iraq for missile testing.

The Maghreb Looking Glass
In an interview with the Parisian daily Le Monde a few days after the Iraqi invasion, King Hassan of Morocco expressed the hope that the Gulf crisis, "after breaking the Arab mirror, will not break the Maghreb mirror." The Moroccan monarch's point was that, regardless of the importance of the Gulf crisis for the Arab world, it should not impede the progress towards political and economic unity in the Maghreb. His point was well taken throughout the area. The follow-up came from Algiers, which holds the UMA presidency for the second half of 1990. A few days after King Hassan's interview, President Chadli Benjedid of Algeria declared that the Maghreb "had to increase diplomatic contacts and coordination.”

On Sept. 2 and 3, the foreign ministers of Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Mauritania, and Algeria met in Algiers to try to hammer out a common stand on the Gulf crisis. At the end of their meeting, they agreed to condemn the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and, following a Libyan proposal, also expressed their refusal to "starve" the Iraqi people. According to Algerian Foreign Minister Sid-Ahmed Ghozali, the five agreed on supporting international legality and the principles of the UN charter and of the Arab League.”

In substance, agreement was found on minimal but crucial ground. It still remains to be seen how the Maghreb states will deal with the Arab League crisis. So far, all five states have refused to attend the Cairo meeting that is to decide whether the future location of Arab League headquarters will be in Tunis or Cairo.

The Economics of the Crisis
Besides the difficult political situation the Gulf crisis created within the Maghreb Union, it has sharply different effects on economic life in Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia.

The rise in oil prices following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait provided big financial benefits for Algeria and Libya. As oil prices rose from $19 to $27 per barrel in early August, Algeria earned an extra $6.5 million and Libya an extra $10 million daily. Algeria exports some 750,000 barrels of oil daily, Libya one million. Tunisia also received an extra $500,000 daily for its daily export of 55,000 barrels.

Oil-importing Morocco and Mauritania were exposed to the other side of the coin. While very little information is available on Mauritania, Morocco imported 52 percent of its 1989 oil needs from Iraq and 10 percent from Kuwait. Since early August, Morocco has had to look for new sources of supplies while seeing its energy bills skyrocket. If the price of oil remains at $28 until late 1990, Morocco will have to pay an estimated $200 million extra for its crude oil, and its energy bill in 1990 will reach an estimated $840 million. Following the trade embargo imposed on Iraq, Moroccan businessmen lost an estimated $75 million. Some 50 Moroccan businessmen were trading with Iraq and Kuwait until the Aug. 2 invasion.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Kuwaiti Ambassador Sheikh Saud Nasir Al Sabah

Curtiss, Richard H. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 37.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784337?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Until Aug. 2, 1990, the day two Iraqi armored columns and helicopter-borne Iraqi troops invaded his country, Sheikh Saud Nasir Al Sabah was well known to his diplomatic colleagues, but certainly not a familiar face to the American public.

Stationed in Washington for nine years and representing one of the world's smallest but wealthiest countries, the activities of Kuwait's ambassador to the United States were of interest within Arab League, Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab-American circles, but not to the mainstream American media.

Only hours after the Iraqi invasion at 2 am Kuwaiti time, however, the 45-year-old Sheikh Saud, as he is known to his colleagues, was holding a press conference carried live on radio and television networks across the United States, and reported in detail in every American newspaper. His message was stark and urgent:

"We appeal to all of our friends around the world, including the United States, to come to our aid...We are desperate for any kind of assistance we can get...There is fighting going on in different areas in Kuwait and there is the intention on the part of the Kuwaitis, even though they have been overwhelmed by this aggressive force, to fight for their existence...Casualties are many in Kuwait...The Emir is in Saudi Arabia and is in direct contact with me...We are working very closely with the Saudis at the highest level. I think US intervention at this stage is both paramount and important...We don't stand a chance if we don't get aid from our friends. The country...is already under complete occupation.”

Remarkable Responses
The Kuwaiti envoy's dramatic press conference took place before most Americans were even aware of the invasion. It touched off a period of sustained American public attention to the Middle East. The crisis was remarkable for how rapidly President George Bush reacted to Kuwait's plea, backed up by America's key Arab allies, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and eventually the United Nations. It also was remarkable for the laser-like intensity with which American television networks focused on the dispute, sending media star anchormen to Cairo, Riyadh, Amman and Baghdad, and showing footage of the fighting and Iraqi occupation surreptitiously filmed and smuggled out of Kuwait by escaping foreigners.

The self-possessed visage of Kuwait's nattily dressed ambassador has become instantly recognizable to the American public since then. At first he appeared alone on interview programs. Then sometimes television news shows featured consecutive interviews with Sheikh Saud and his equally articulate Iraqi opposite number, Ambassador Mohamad Sadiq Al Mashat. Finally, on Aug. 13, the Kuwaiti and Iraqi envoys engaged in a sharp on-camera debate.

"Ambassador Mashat," said Ambassador Al Sabah during a joint appearance on ABC's "Nightline" with Ted Koppel, "I do have respect for you as a person and I've always had and always will. But, quite frankly, I do not have any respect for the views you have expressed. You are the last person to talk about values and Arab solidarity in the Arab world. You have disrupted...the Arab world and split it in half. Is this the way you want to conduct your future Arab solidarity?...Let my people be free. Get out of my country...Let all the foreigners get out. Let the Americans get out. You still hold Americans in Kuwait. You still hold Americans in Baghdad.”

In the weeks after the invasion, Ambassador Al Sabah was in regular telephone contact with Kuwait's ruler, Emir Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah, and with American officials. He also accompanied Kuwait's foreign minister on a series of visits to officials in Washington and made himself available not only to the US media but to other journalists including the Kuwait news agency, suddenly functioning without a headquarters in Kuwait, but still a major source of news throughout the Middle East.

Being a member of Kuwait's ruling Al Sabah family, with 21 years of experience in Kuwait's foreign ministry, Sheikh Saud did not hesitate to speak out force fully and sometimes without the constraints a less well placed diplomat might have felt. Besides being fluent in English, he is a British-trained lawyer whose first foreign ministry appointment was in 1969, as Kuwait's representative to the Conference on the Law of Treaties.

From 1969 to 1973 he served as Kuwait's representative to the Seabed Committee of the United Nations, becoming vice chairman of the committee, and in 1974 and 1975 he was vice chairman of the Kuwait delegation to the Conference on the Law of the Sea, again becoming vice chairman of the conference as well.

From 1975 to 1980, Sheikh Saud was Kuwaiti ambassador to Great Britain, as well as non-resident ambassador to Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Since coming to the US in 1981, he also has been non-resident Kuwaiti ambassador to Canada and Venezuela.

Though the questions he has been asked by the media since the invasion were sometimes alarmist, Ambassador Al Sabah's calm and deliberate answers have drawn a clear picture of his country's evolving policy. This has been particularly true since he and his government became more assured that neither the US nor Kuwait's Arab allies considered the Iraqi occupation of his country a fait accompli, as many observers had called it during the first week after the invasion.

"It must be clearly understood that Saddam Hussein's long-term intentions...are to dominate the whole area," Sheikh Saud told interviewers on ABC's "This Week with David Brinkley" Aug. 5. "This is the first stage of his plans, and unless he's checked and stopped here, we can see an evolving change in the situation...He can only understand force...What we're concerned about is the survival of our country and our sovereignty.”

Four days later, referring to Iraq's ambassadors in Washington and at the UN, an American public relations firm the Iraqi Embassy had engaged only weeks before the invasion, and to US business and ethnic organizations established with Iraqi Embassy encouragement over the past four years, Ambassador Al Sabah told CNN interviewer Bernard Shaw:

"Certain Iraqi ambassadors...and their agents throughout the US...are trying to insult the intelligence of the American people...and trying to bring to the American people falsehoods and lies...They promised not to invade. That's the first example. They promised it to the Egyptian president. They promised it to the Jordanian king. They promised it to the United States through your ambassador in Baghdad...

"This is deception in international relations. And at the time we took their word for it and that's where we are now...We are specifically grateful for the leadership of the United States in rallying behind it the whole world and getting a unanimous decision by the Security Council...condemning the Iraqi decision to annex Kuwait. We are also grateful for the role of our brothers in Saudi Arabia and all the civilized countries who realize that such activities should be regarded as unlawful and should be stopped...

"Our desire is to get a peaceful, amicable solution to this problem. We don't want to see any bloodshed if we can avoid it...American lives are as valuable as our lives...We want to give peace a chance if peace is possible...But this man has got to be stopped.”

The "Provisional Government”

In subsequent interviews, Ambassador Al Sabah was caustic not only about Iraq, but about the "provisional government" it installed immediately after the invasion. "This revolutionary regime is no more than Iraqi military people...planted inside the country," he told interviewer John McLaughlin in an NBC special report on Aug. 13.

"Atrocities are being committed by the occupying powers inside Kuwait against civilians, and there is indiscriminate shooting of people inside Kuwait, whether Kuwaitis or nationals of countries who have supported Kuwait...The amount they were able to loot from the Central Bank of Kuwait, together with other Kuwaiti banks at that time, is in the region of $5 billion...Because...they have these funds...it is going to take a while for them to feel the pinch of the sanctions that are taking place...It buys them five months if the regime is going to spend that money for the people. But this regime is not going to spend it for the people. They are going to transfer it to Swiss bank accounts for the regime and for their individual ends.”

Declaring that his country has some 300,000 Palestinian residents, Ambassador Al Sabah was careful, in answers to questions about Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat's reluctance to condemn Saddam Hussein, to distinguish between the Palestinians and their leadership.

"From the information we've got, the Palestinian people in Kuwait, many of them, went and volunteered through the blood banks of Kuwait. And they also have participated in the demonstrations by Kuwaitis against the occupation. So we're not talking about the Palestinians here. We're talking about the leadership of the Palestinians, which is completely damaging the reputation of the Palestinian people...”

Questioned by American journalists about the economic roots of Iraq's dispute with Kuwait, Sheikh Saud is less diplomatic. "We gave them over $12 billion. [In addition] we gave them all the equipment they needed...After the war, when we expanded our production of oil in order to give the Iraqis more funds and more assistance, they came back and said, `You're producing too much'...

"We never asked them to repay the debt and we've never regarded what we have paid to the Iraqis or contributed to their war effort as a debt. It was our participation in the defense of Iraq. Let [Saddam Hussein] produce a document or any conversation that we had with him regarding repayment of the funds we gave him. We've never termed them as debts or loans. We termed them our contribution to their war efforts.”

As for Kuwait's present position visa vis Iraq, the Kuwait envoy explained: "We went to the summit conference and we said we are willing to negotiate, but not negotiate under occupation...Let him get out of Kuwait. Let them restore the legitimate government of Kuwait. Then we can negotiate.”

Questioned by Koppel on ABC's "Night-line" concerning Saddam Hussein's proposal that all UN Security Council resolutions calling for troop withdrawals in the Middle East be enforced, the Kuwaiti envoy noted curtly:

"The Iraqi initiative, if you look at it in its totality...talks about the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories, withdrawal of Syria from Lebanon...And he says, `then and only then will we address ourselves to the problem of Kuwait.' It doesn't talk about withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait.”

Many journalists have questioned the Kuwaiti envoy closely about Iraq's claim to hegemony over Kuwait. Sheikh Saud repeated Kuwait's case for independence on CNN's"Crossfire" to hosts Michael Kinsley and Pat Buchanan on Aug. 16.

"In 1913, the British and the Turks [the Ottoman Empire] signed a treaty whereby they defined explicitly the borders of Kuwait under British control. In 1932, our government in Kuwait, with the Iraqi government, signed a treaty confirming and affirming the 1913 treaty. After independence in 1961, Iraq revoked that treaty and wanted to annex Kuwait. All the forces came in to defend Kuwait. Afterwards [Iraq] recognized Kuwait in 1962. Their deputy prime minister...came to Kuwait [and] signed with us a 1963 treaty identifying our borders and acknowledging the sovereignty of Kuwait.”

A Full Day-And-Nighttime Schedule
With a full daytime schedule, and spending much of the night on the telephone with officials in his government's temporary location in Saudi Arabia, nine hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, Ambassador Al Sabah has had little sleep or time away from his embassy. Fortunately, the embassy residence, which he shares with his wife, Shaikha Awatif S. Al Sabah, three sons and two daughters, is adjacent to the embassy chancery in northwest Washington. The White House and State Department are less than two miles away.

This convenient location is fortunate because Ambassador Al Sabah's ordeal seems far from over. Increasingly, Americans are asking him whether President Bush, who drew "a line in the sand" to make it clear that the US would fight at Saudi Arabia's side in case of an Iraqi invasion, might move that line forward and use military rather than economic means to roll back the Iraqi army from Kuwait.

In addressing all questions about US-Kuwait relations, however, Ambassador Sabah is a diplomat first, and a gracious one at that:

"Thank you, President Bush," he said on CNN's "Crossfire" program. "Thank you, the American people and the United States...We're hoping that we can resolve this amicably and peacefully. We don't want to see any further bloodshed on the part of American boys or any multinational forces in the area or Kuwait nationals and civilians inside the country.”

In answer to similar questions Aug. 26 on CNN's "Newsmaker Sunday" program, Ambassador Al Sabah used virtually the same words to express a hope fervently shared by his American audiences as well as his Middle Eastern neighbors: "We don't want bloodshed. If we can get the Iraqis out without further bloodshed and misery, we are for it.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The "October Surprise": A Non-Event That Changed US History

Curtiss, Richard H. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 39.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218798023?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

It was 10 years ago this month that the "October Surprise" predicted by President Jimmy Carter's secretary of state, Edmund Muskie, didn't happen. Many Americans believe that if it had, Carter would have been re-elected and Ronald Reagan would not have become president of the United States.

Why there was no "surprise" from Iran that month to save Carter's election campaign, and spike Reagan's, is, in the words of one newspaper delving into the matter this year, "a story of treason.”

"A Story of Treason”

The details began to leak out three years ago. Yet when the writer, one of the first to report the story, mentioned it this summer to a senior investigative reporter on a major national newspaper, the reporter admitted that although he'd heard of "the October Surprise," he was not familiar with any of the derails. After he heard a few, he also explained why editors of his newspaper would not be interested in digging into the matter further -- even though it apparently shaped the US political history of the 1980s.

Recently, when a self-described former low-level CIA contract employee named Richard Brenneke said in a federal court under oath that he had played a minor role in the story, he was charged with perjury and tried in a Portland, Oregon court. He was acquitted. A local reporter said a jury member told him afterward that the jury had been doubtful about many of Brenneke's derails, but had been unanimous in believing the "story of treason" to which the newspaper referred actually had occurred.

The story began in the summer of 1980. Ronald Reagan had just been selected at the Republican Party's convention as its presidential nominee. He, in turn, had selected George Bush, his strongest rival for the nomination, to run on his ticket as the vice presidential nominee.

Jimmy Carter, throughout much of his first term, had turned the Middle East into his greatest political asset by attacking the Israel-Arab dispute head-on and successfully at Camp David. Now his luck had changed for the worse, and he was as much a hostage in the White House to the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as were the 52 members of the US Embassy staff being held hostage in Tehran by Khomeini's Islamic Revolutionary supporters.

When they were seized in 1979, Carter had frozen $12 billion in Iranian assets, deposited before the fall of the Shah earlier that year, in US banks. Now Carter administration emissaries were negotiating with Khomeini officials the amount of the funds to be released after the embassy hostages were freed, and how much would be held back to settle outstanding claims against Iran by US firms and individuals. Someone told Reagan campaign workers, however, that Carter's secretary of state, Edmund Muskie, had been heard predicting an" October surprise.”

Reagan's people concluded that the "October surprise" could only be a plan to bring home the embassy hostages just before election day in the near certainty that the resulting national euphoria would sweep Jimmy Carter back into office.

Incredibly, but indisputably, a network of active and retired Reagan military supporters headed by retired Admiral Robert Garrick set up a 24-hour-a-day watch at major air force bases, looking for activity that would reveal an armed rescue attempt like the "Desert I" attempt that had failed a few months earlier. They planned to leak stories of such activity to the media to force the Carter administration to abort the rescue, and they have admitted this to the media.

There, however, the candid admissions of the participants themselves stop. Yet there are detailed reports that a political as well as a military network of Reagan supporters was hard at work. As Carter's people discussed the hostages and release of the frozen Iranian funds openly, it's now clear that shadowy Reagan campaign figures were also meeting with the Ayatollah's men and discussing the same subject secretly.

One such meeting took place in a Washington, DC hotel room. Marine Col. Robert (Bud) McFarlane, then a member of the staff of Republican Senator John Tower of Texas and later President Reagan's national security adviser, was one of the participants. Another was Richard B. Allen, then of Georgetown University and only a few months later President Reagan's first national security adviser. The third participant was Allen aide Laurence Silberman. All three admit to Washington talks in the fall with an unidentified Iranian. All three deny they made a deal. All three say they've lost all of their notes from the meeting.

Deal-Making and Drug-Running
There also was a separate such meeting or meetings in Paris, according to various informants including Brenneke, whose status with the CIA remains unclear. He's a man who says that, although he's been involved in a lot of shady international financial and arms deals, he decided to go public when he found some of the CIA and Israeli Mossad people with whom he had been associated were also involved in running drugs into the US from South and Central America.

Brenneke says the American participants in Paris included Donald Gregg, then a Carter administration national security aide, but soon to be Vice President George Bush's chief of staff. He also alleges the meeting was attended by William Casey, then a Reagan campaign official, and soon to be President Reagan's CIA director. Brenneke says he saw Gregg and Casey and was told by another low-level aide that George Bush was also in Paris at the time. Among those on the Iranian side, according to Brenneke, was Manucher Ghorbanifar, the Iran-born Mossad agent and arms dealer who later played a central role in the Iranscam arms-for-hostages scandal.

At Brenneke's trial, US Secret Service agents testified that Bush did not leave the country in October 1980. Nor did the late William Casey, according to the testimony of two of his former secretaries. Gregg, a former CIA agent, returned from North Korea, where he now is the Bush administration's ambassador, to testify that he was vacationing at a Delaware beach at the time the meeting allegedly took place.

A key witness subpoenaed by the defense, however, was Richard Allen. He testified that he established a secret campaign committee to track the hostage situation in the fall of 1980. He produced two internal Reagan campaign committee memos for the jury, one written just before the alleged Paris meetings and the other written shortly afterwards. The first memo, from Allen to Reagan, Casey, Ed Meese and campaign pollster Richard Wirthlin, reported that a person referred to as "ABC XYZ" had said that the hostages could be released "at any moment as a bolt out of the blue." "ABC XYZ," Allen testified under oath, was then-Secretary of State Edmund Muskie. The second memo, from Meese to Allen, Casey and other campaign advisers, named Robert Warrick as the campaign's sole public spokesman on the issue.

The Washington meetings are clearly documented because the participants have admitted they took place. The Paris meetings are not solidly documented at all, but interest focuses on the reports because of the persistent attempts by Brenneke and others to link George Bush and his soon-to-be chief of staff Donald Gregg to them.

For doubters that any Americans would seriously enter into such cynical bargaining, there's the report from the third serious presidential contender in 1980, John Anderson, a Republican congressman running as an independent candidate. Iranians approached his campaign staff and offered to trade hostages for arms. The Anderson campaign officials said no, and complied with the law by reporting the Iranian overture to the FBI. The FBI received no report of any kind from McFarlane, Allen, Silberman or any other Reagan campaign official. Wouldn't some member of the Reagan campaign staff have thought to report to federal authorities an illegal overture about the 52 embassy hostages from a country with which the US had no diplomatic relations? Not, perhaps, if the members of the campaign staff to whom the overture had been made had broken the law by making a deal.

As to the Iranian participants, the then-president of Iran, Abol Hassan Bani Sadr, told this writer in Paris three years ago the names of the Iranian government officials who, he said, had made the deal. He didn't know which of them had personally participated in a meeting or meetings with Reagan's men, and he wasn't sure about which Americans they had met with.

The narrative resumes, however, with the account by Barbara Honegger, a Reagan campaign volunteer in the fall of 1980. She has since written a book, October Surprise, describing the "paranoid" fear that pervaded national campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Wirthlin had predicted that if Carter secured release of the hostages just before the election, it would raise his support by five to six percent. If the release occurred a full week before the election, it would provide Carter a 10-percent increase in the popular vote, and ensure his victory.

"Dick's Cut a Deal”

Then, Honneger says, in the closing weeks of the campaign a fellow worker told her there would be no October surprise because "Dick's cut a deal." Honegger doesn't know whether it was Dick Allen or Dick Wirthlin, but she is sure now it was cash and arms for hostages, instead of just cash as the Carter administration was offering. The only catch in the Republican campaign's deal with Iran, however, was that the hostages must not be released before election day.

This awesomely cynical theory is circumstantially confirmed by Reagan campaign director Casey's remark to journalist Roland Perry on Oct. 30 that if something happened to give Carter the election, "it won't be the hostages.”

Reagan won easily. Meanwhile, after election day, Jimmy Carter labored on and finally made his deal with the Iranians to release at least $4 billion of the frozen $12 billion. In equal ignorance, Bani Sadr told the writer, after the Iraqi attack on Iran he urged the Ayatollah to take whatever cash deal the Carter administration was offering, release the hostages, and get on with fighting Iran's war with Iraq.

For a long time the Ayatollah became angry whenever he brought up the subject, Bani Sadr said, insisting that Carter should unfreeze US weapons in the pipeline to Iran, as well as the frozen funds. Then, Bani Sadr recalls, the Ayatollah lost interest in talking to him about weapons, and in fact seemed reluctant to talk to him about the deal at all. Ex-President Bani Sadr is convinced that when his rivals in the Khomeini government got the promise of arms from Reagan campaign workers, Khomeini lost all interest in his government's talks with the Carter administration, and the star of Bani Sadr, who still had ties to the West, began to fall.

Carter, meanwhile, kept waiting for the prisoners to be released in response to the cash-only deal he had made. He was still waiting by the telephone on his last night in office, because he had learned that the Iranians were making obvious preparations to release their prisoners.

An Inauguration Present
He didn't give up until 6 am, which gave him time to snatch two hours of sleep, dress, accompany his successor to the Capitol steps and watch Ronald Reagan put one hand on the Bible and raise the other to recite the oath of office. Exactly 15 minutes later, as America's brand new president was driving in triumph down Constitution Avenue to the White House, the prisoners were released.

People speculated on why the brooding old man in Tehran had waited until 15 minutes after Reagan's presidency began to release the hostages. But, who cared, once they were safely home after their 444 days of captivity?

In fact, however, someone in the United States did know the meaning of Khomeini's signal that the prisoners were not being released because of what Carter had promised, but rather because of what Reagan's people had promised. In March 1981, barely a month after Reagan assumed office, Israel signed an agreement to ship arms to Iran. The Washington Post says it was worth $10 million to $15 million, and it was authorized by then-Secretary of State Alexander Haig.

One plane left Israel immediately for Iran. On July 18, 1981 another such plane, chartered in Argentina and bearing American-made arms from Israel, crashed on the Turkish border before it could cross into Iranian airspace. There was no hiding its contents, their point of origin, and their destination. Bani Sadr says it was the third arms shipment by air from Israel in the first six months of the Reagan administration. In the same month, Bani Sadr formalized his break with the Ayatollah by escaping into Turkey in an Iranian Air Force plane with its defecting military pilot. For him the story ends there. But Ariel Sharon, who was Israeli Minister of Defense at the time, says all of the shipments from Israel of US arms that followed Reagan's assumption of office in January 1981 were authorized by the US, as required by US law.

Because it is illegal for private citizens to negotiate with foreign governments, any meetings in the fall of 1980 with Iranian officials by Reagan campaign aides would be a "story of treason." And someone on the Reagan campaign staff negotiating to keep American hostages bound and blindfolded in unheated buildings and in tremendous danger from the mobs calling for their deaths outside the embassy would also be a mind-boggling case of callous disregard for human life for domestic political purposes.

An Airtight Circumstantial Case
Since the "October surprise" was a nonevent that didn't happen a decade ago, however, what's the significance today?

Think about it. This airtight circumstantial case, whose only missing detail is whether the key meetings took place in Paris, Washington, or both, explains virtually everything that happened in US Middle East policy for the next eight years. It also explains how the US blundered, again, into dealings using Israel to trade arms to Iran for hostages in 1985 and 1986.

In the interval between the two deals, whenever the United States and Israel went eyeball to eyeball, it was the US that blinked. Reagan blinked over Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, over its invasion of Lebanon, and its rejection, and opening of 10 more West Bank Jewish settlements within 24 hours, of the "Reagan Plan" for Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories in exchange for peace.

For a wondering US press, key figures in the Israel lobby circulated a series of stories. Ronald Reagan, Americans were told, was incurably sentimental about Israel because of his Hollywood background and Jewish friends. George Shultz, Americans were told, went along with Reagan on this in order to get Jewish critics in the media off his back. Besides, others said, Shultz couldn't stand Syria's Hafez Al-Assad.

If it seemed indiscreet for Israel's strongest supporters in Washington to leak these stories implying that America's steadfast support for increasingly extremist Israeli policies was based upon such trivial reasons, consider the alternative.

What if the press began to speculate that Israel's lock on Reagan administration Middle East policy could be attributed to the fact that key Israeli leaders had been the middle men in arranging the Reagan campaign meetings with Iran, and the Reagan administration's payoff, through Israel, of arms to Iran? To put it bluntly, what if the press decided that America's Middle East policy was hostage to President Reagan's fear of Israeli blackmail?

The story also explains Iranscam. In Barbara Honegger's words, in an article she co-authored with J. Naureckas in the July 7, 1987 issue of In These Times: "A conspiracy between a presidential candidate and a hostile foreign power against an incumbent president would seem to be without precedent in American history. But if Reagan struck a successful deal with Iran and captured the presidency in 1980, it would explain why he agreed to the bizarre alliance with Iran in 1985 and 1986. He had gotten away with it before.”

Even though the story took place eight years before Bush's own election, it gives Israel a potential blackmail sword to hold over the Bush administration. With American troops in the Gulf, George Bush and James Baker have much to do in the Middle East. What's left involves paying as much attention to the Palestinian problem as they are paying to the Kuwait problem. This is not going to be popular with Israel.

It's time, therefore, to destoy its blackmail value by getting the story of the October Surprise into the open. And then it's time for the Bush administration to get on with an American, not an Israeli, agenda in the the Middle East.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Facts for Your Files: A Chronology of US-Mideast Relations

McMahon, Janet. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 41.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218794711?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Aug. 1: Talks between Iraq and Kuwait aimed at resolving disputes between the two countries over money, territory and oil production quotas collapsed in Jeddah.

- US Secretary of State Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze met at Lake Baikal in Siberia to discuss Afghanistan, while Afghan President Najibullah flew to Moscow, amid speculation that he would meet with President Gorbachev.

Aug. 2: At 2 am, Kuwait time, two Iraqi armored divisions and helicopter-borne troops invaded Kuwait, seizing control of much of the capital by dawn. President Bush, condemning the action as "naked aggression," banned imports from Iraq and froze Iraqi assets in the US. The Soviet Union suspended deliveries of all military equipment to Iraq and demanded an immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens warned that Israel "will not permit the entry of Iraqi troops into Jordan.”

- The United Nations Security Council, meeting in emergency session, voted 14-0, with Yemen abstaining, to condemn the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Aug. 3: As its troops moved south through Kuwait to within a few miles of the Saudi Arabian border, Iraq promised to begin withdrawing some of its troops within a few days, while stating that there would be "no return to the bygone regime" in Kuwait.

- Meeting in Cairo for a second straight day, 13 members of the 21-member Arab League voted to denounce "the Iraqi aggression against the state of Kuwait," calling for an immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops while rejecting "any intervention or attempted intervention in Arab affairs." The resolution was adopted after the League waived its usual requirement of unanimity.

Aug. 4: A hastily-arranged Arab summit meeting scheduled for August 5 in Jeddah, fell apart, as Baghdad denounced as "false news" reports that its troops had moved into the so-called Neutral Zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

- In an interview on British television, Jordan's King Hussein defended Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as "a patriotic man who believes in his nation," and described as "premature" the decision by other Arab states to condemn the Iraqi invasion.

- The 12-member European Community imposed an embargo on oil from Iraq and Kuwait and agreed to stop arms sales to Iraq.

- Israeli government officials reported that 17,135 immigrants arrived in July, a 39-percent increase over June. Soviet immigrants accounted for 15,294 of the total, more than arrived in all of 1989 and the highest number of immigrants since 1951.

Aug. 5: Kuwait's "provisional government" threatened to take hostages or nationalize foreign property in response to international sanctions.

Aug. 6: The UN Security Council voted 13-0 for a trade and financial boycott of Iraq and occupied Kuwait.

- Pakistan's President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her government, dissolving the National Assembly and declaring a state of emergency.

- Two Jewish teenagers who had disappeared near Arab East Jerusalem were found bound, gagged and stabbed to death. The discovery set off violent Israeli attacks on Palestinians, in which a Palestinian woman was killed when Jewish West Bank "settlers" fired into the automobile she was traveling in with her family.

Aug. 7: President Bush ordered US paratroopers, an armored brigade and jet fighters to Saudi Arabia to defend the Gulf kingdom against a possible Iraqi attack, following meetings in Saudi Arabia between Defense Secretary Cheney and King Fahd.

Aug. 8: Iraq announced permanent annexation of Kuwait to correct "one of the most egregious criminal acts of colonialism.”

- A Swiss Red Cross worker held hostage in Lebanon for 10 months was freed by a group called the Palestinian Revolutionary Squads. He was the first Western hostage to be freed in more than three months.

Aug. 9: The UN Security Council voted unanimously to declare Iraq's annexation of Kuwait null and void in international law.

- Iraq announced that US and other foreigners stranded in Iraq and Kuwait would not be allowed to leave.

- Israel successfully conducted its first test of the Arrow air-defense missile, codesigned and financed with the US.

Aug. 10: Arab leaders meeting in Cairo agreed to send an Arab military force to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. In a broadcast from Baghdad, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein called on Arabs to wage a holy war to defend Mecca against "the spears of the Americans and the Zionists.”

Aug. 12: Iraq's president proposed tying a withdrawal of Iraq's troops from Kuwait to Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, southern Lebanon and the Golan Heights, and Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.

- President Bush ordered a naval blockade of oil exports from and all imports to Iraq.

Aug. 13: Jordan's King Hussein criticized the US for creating an "explosive situation" that threatens the entire Middle East. US officials said its ships would blockade the Jordanian port of Aqaba if it were used to break the UN trade embargo against Iraq. The US blockade was also criticized by the Soviet Union and Malaysia at an informal closed- door session of the UN Security Council.

Aug. 14: Syrian troops joined 3,000 Egyptian forces as part of the Arab military deployment in Saudi Arabia. US administration officials disclosed that President Bush secretly approved the future transfer to Egypt of more than $1 billion of sophisticated US planes and missiles.

Aug. 15: In a letter to Iran's President Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein offered to meet nearly all Iranian conditions for a final settlement to the Iran- Iraq war. Iran said the Iraqi offer would be reviewed "with optimism.”

Aug. 16: Jordan's King Hussein, meeting with vacationing President Bush, agreed to observe UN trade sanctions against Iraq.

Aug. 17: The UN Security Council called for the release of the more than I million foreigners stranded in Iraq and Kuwait. Iraq's National Assembly Speaker Sadi Mahdi declared that citizens of "aggressive nations" would be kept at possible military targets and would not be released until the threat of war against Iraq ends.

- US naval ships began enforcing the trade embargo against Iraq, halting two Iraqi vessels off the coast of Bahrain.

- Iraqi troops began withdrawing from Iranian territory and the first 1,000 Iranian prisoners of war were repatriated.

Aug. 19: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said he would free foreigners being held in Iraq and Kuwait in exchange for a complete pullout of US forces from the Gulf.

Aug. 20: US Defense Secretary Cheney, on a whirlwind visit to five Arab countries, announced that the United Arab Emirates agreed to allow US forces to be stationed on its territory. More than 20,000 US soldiers have arrived in Saudi Arabia, with an additional 35,000 on 59 US ships in the area and up to 45,000 Marines en route.

Aug. 21: Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, in Amman, said his country was ready to open discussions with the US.

- Lebanon's National Assembly approved constitutional reforms, in line with last year's Taif Accord, giving the country's Muslim majority increased representation in Lebanon's political system.

Aug. 22: The US announced it would defy Iraqi orders to close its embassy in Kuwait within two days, and President Bush signed an order calling up 40,000 reservists to supplement and replace forces involved in the Gulf crisis.

- Jordan, overwhelmed by almost 185,000 refugees, closed its border with Iraq. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia agreed to provide half of Jordan's daily petroleum needs.

Aug. 23: President Saddam Hussein appeared on Iraqi TV with British hostages.

Aug. 24: Iraqi troops surrounded the US and other embassies in Kuwait.

- Israeli government spokesman Yosef Olmert, denying reports that Israel was urging the US to act quickly and decisively against Iraq, said, "We are not advising the Americans to take any specific course of action.”

- Jordan reopened its border with Iraq.

- Irish hostage Brian Keenen was freed in Lebanon by a group called the Organization of the Islamic Dawn. He had been held with a number of other Western hostages.

Aug. 25: The UN Security Council voted to allow the world's navies to use force to uphold trade sanctions against Iraq, marking the first time in the UN's 45-year history that the Security Council authorized military action not under the UN flag to enforce its sanctions.

Aug. 26: Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze said the USSR would not use force in the Gulf dispute.

- Israel said it would ease travel restrictions for Palestinians fleeing Kuwait and Iraq through Jordan, and also that it would block exports of Palestinian-produced fruits, vegetables and other products shipped through Jordan to Iraq.

Aug. 27: Iraq ordered its merchant ships not to resist attempts by American or other naval forces to conduct inspections to enforce the international blockade against Iraq.

- The US expelled 36 Iraqi employees of the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, DC.

- The US State Department said Libya "provided direct support in all phases of preparation" for the failed May 30 raid on the Israeli coast masterminded by renegade PLO leader Abul Abbas.

Aug. 28: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared Kuwait to be the 19th province of Iraq and said foreign women and children would be free to leave Iraq. US intelligence estimates placed the number of Iraqi troops in Kuwait and on the Iraqi-Saudi Arabian border at 265,000, representing a substantial increase over the previous several days.

- The Bush administration plans to sell Saudi Arabia up to $8 billion in armaments, and also promised to consult King Fahd before launching any action against Iraq.

Aug. 29: OPEC ratified an increase in oil production to compensate for oil lost to the world market because of the Gulf crisis.

Aug. 30: At a White House press conference, President Bush said he would not be deterred from taking military action in the Gulf by threats to Americans held in Iraq.

Aug. 31: UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz in Amman, Jordan while, in Cairo, 13 of the Arab League's 21 member states agreed to issue a new condemnation of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

- Administration officials announced that President Bush has decided, subject to congressional approval, to forgive Egypt's $7.1 billion military debt to the US.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



What President Bush Can Do to Strengthen US Middle East Allies

Findley, Paul. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 49.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218794844?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Speaking of history, Ambassador Robert Neumann, a noted wit and scholar who served in 1981 as the first Reagan administration ambassador to Saudi Arabia, offers this quaint definition: "History is just one damned thing after another.”

Anyone associated with recent events in the Arabian Gulf area will surely find Neumann's definition appealing. A month ago, who would have forecast that the government of Iraq, which had been aided substantially by Kuwait in its long and costly war with Iran, would suddenly invade this very same benefactor and place menacing forces against the border of another primary benefactor, Saudi Arabia?

The aftermath of the Iraqi assault is, however, the occasion for rejoicing, not expletives. In what must be accepted as the ultimate expression of friendship and cooperation, United States and Saudi Arabian military forces now stand together in opposition to the occupation and annexation of territory by force of arms, and in support of the principles of territorial integrity and the peaceful adjudication of international disputes.

A Double Standard
President Saddam Hussein, whose conquest of Kuwait is inexcusable by any reasonable standard, has nevertheless helped to focus world attention on the double standard to territorial conquest that the United States has applied in its dealings with nations in the Middle East. In a surprising statement, Saddam thinks that Iraq might withdraw from Kuwait if Israel withdraws from the West Bank and Gaza, and Syria withdraws from Lebanon. To which I say: hurrah!
Three days before, I had suggested a way for President Bush to strengthen powerfully the US position in the Gulf region, by demonstrating the strong opposition of the US to the forcible occupation and annexation of territory by Israel, not just Iraq.

To our credit, we are taking high-risk military measures to oppose the occupation and annexation of Kuwait by Iraq. At the same time, our government acquiesces quietly in the occupation and, in two instances, the annexation of Arab territory by Israel. To make matters worse, the US has continued to provide crucial financial, military and political support to Israel, notwithstanding these violations.

This double standard is not lost on the Arabs we need on our side in this confrontation with Iraq. Much of the support that Iraq's Saddam Hussein receives, both at home and elsewhere, arises from frustration among Arabs because so little has been done to bring Israel's violation of human and territorial rights to an end.

Who can blame Arabs for giving up on the US, given its bias favoring Israel?

The US is viewed worldwide as the willing financier of Israel's occupation and annexation measures. Many Arabs see Saddam Hussein as a strong leader who will seek justice, at long last, for those being harmed by Israel. And Saddam's offer to withdraw from Kuwait if Israel and Syria end their occupations of foreign territory will strengthen his appeal.

A US declaration ending that double standard is long overdue. But better late than never. President Bush now has a powerful new reason to act. Ending this double standard would enhance the safety and security of American troops and all other forces arrayed in opposition to Iraqi aggression.

Needed is a presidential announcement that the US:

1. Rejects Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in Syria, and strongly opposes its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

2. Supports the right of self-determination for the residents of the West Bank and Gaza.

3. Stands ready to help provide on-site military security of Israel's entire perimeter if that state withdraws to the borders that existed prior to the June 1967 war.

If accepted, this offer would extend to Israel's entire perimeter the border protection which a multinational force, including US forces, already provides along the Egypt- Israel border.

By demonstrating the strong opposition of the US to forcible occupation and annexation by Israel, as well as Iraq, our government would weaken Saddam's political appeal. The declaration should go far in meeting the concerns evident in several Arab states.

At the same time, the declaration would well serve the interests of Israel itself. It would encourage Israel to come to terms with its neighbors by withdrawing to its pre- June 1967 borders, as provided in UN Resolution 242. The border guarantee I propose would serve to answer those who contend that the pre-June 1967 borders were indefensible.

This declaration can be justified by President Bush entirely on political and moral grounds, but, for the reasons set forth above, it is also justified by military necessity. At this critical moment, when the lives of American servicemen are on the line, President Bush should follow the example of his illustrious predecessor Abraham Lincoln and issue his own declaration, emancipating the US from a double standard that severely handicaps our government in the pursuit of noble policy goals and endangers the lives of our military forces now on the front lines in Saudi Arabia.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



With New US Hostages in Gulf, Prospects for Lebanese Hostages Uncertain

Levin, Jerry. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 50.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796334?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Once again US hostages are trapped in a wave of enmity, resulting from US intervention in the Middle East. This time, however, US hostages in Kuwait and Iraq are not just a handful, as was the case in 1979 and 1980 in Iran and throughout the 1980s in Lebanon. There are an estimated 3,000 American citizens being detained in Iraq, along with 4,000 British subjects, varying numbers of Europeans from countries cooperating with the blockade, and tens of thousands of citizens of Arab states which have contributed troops to the defense of Saudi Arabia.

The Americans held in Iran more than a decade ago were mostly diplomats. The US quickly froze billions of dollars of Iranian assets in US banks pending their release. The last of them were released after 444 days of captivity. The case of the Americans kidnapped one-by-one in Beirut, of whom I was one, bears a closer, and more troubling, resemblance to today's events in Baghdad.

Two Reasons For Hostage-Taking
There were two reasons why Americans, six of whom still await release, were taken hostage in Lebanon. Both were directly related to hostility ignited in 1982 and 1983 as our military forces became increasingly involved in Lebanon's civil war.

The specific reason was that our captors wanted to exchange William Buckley, Benjamin Weir, Lawrence Martin Jenco, Terry Anderson, David Jacobson, Thomas Sutherland and me for 17 terrorists who had been quite appropriately jailed in Kuwait for bombing the American and French embassies there, supposedly in retaliation for US and French military actions in Beirut.

Six people died in the Kuwait explosions, and some 80 were wounded. A Kuwait court sentenced three of the 17 to death, but the sentence was not carried out. The man who reportedly masterminded and arranged our kidnapping in Beirut was the brother-in-law of one of the three sentenced to die in Kuwait.

The general reason we were kidnapped can be summed up in one word, "betrayal." Lebanon's Shi'i Muslims felt betrayed because of three extremely traumatic events connected with the US role following Israel's invasion in June 1982.

The first event was the US withdrawal in September 1982, only three weeks after US forces landed to end the Israeli siege of West Beirut by supervising the withdrawal of its PLO defenders. When the US withdrew, it failed to ensure that Israel would keep its word and not occupy West Beirut in the absence of its Palestinian defenders. So Israel subdued West Beirut with a devastating blitzkrieg. Ironically, the resulting death and destruction was similar to what Iraq's Saddam Hussein this year threatened to unleash against Israel, if it should do to any other Arab nation what it did to Lebanon.

The second event accompanied Israel's conquest of West Beirut. Israel's forces permitted, and some say incited, Maronite Christian Phalange militiamen to occupy the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in West Beirut and massacre between 800 and 2,000 unarmed Palestinian men, women and children.

The third betrayal was in allowing our troops, who returned to Beirut after the massacres, to become involved militarily in Lebanon's civil war. As the Reagan administration turned away from a policy of dialogue and diplomacy in the Middle East and the US forces began to take sides in the fighting, retaliation was inevitable.

It consisted of the blowing up of our embassy in Beirut, the bombing of the US Marine contingent guarding Beirut's International Airport, in which 241 US servicemen were killed, and a series of smaller incidents. Finally, in order to avert another Vietnam disaster, and to protect his re-election chances, at the end of 1983 President Reagan withdrew the Marines from Lebanon.

After that, with few representatives of the US government to prey upon, all Americans became the targets. On March 14, 1984, just seven days after I had covered the withdrawal of the last of the Marines as CNN bureau chief in Beirut, I was taken prisoner. William Buckley, the CIA's Beirut station chief, was taken just nine days after that.

Those acts, as much as any others, marked the transformation of the friendship and respect once exhibited by most Arabs toward Americans into a virulent strain of anti-Americanism that has resonated concentrically from its Palestinian-Lebanese core to the outer reaches of the Arab world. This anti-Americanism is likely to be exacerbated by our military involvement in Saudi Arabia: an historic echo of our once equally well-intentioned intervention in Lebanon.

Until now, I, other former hostages, and families of those still in captivity in Lebanon had been relieved to note that the administration of President George Bush, in a reversal of his former boss's polarizing approach, had begun to voice some constructive and even-handed sentiments. President Bush also consistently refrained from the false and inflammatory there-is-an-Arab-terrorist-under-every-rock demagogery characteristic of the Reagan administration. A spirit of reconciliation, tentative though it was, seemed to be in the air.

Now, as the result of the astonishing events taking place in the Gulf, more Americans are being held against their will in two more Arab lands, and the return any time soon of the hostages in Lebanon is in serious doubt. That is because the extremist prisoners being held in Kuwait were part of an Iran- backed Shi'i fundamentalist organization, Al Dawa, headquartered in Baghdad during most of the Iran-Iraq war.

A More Perilous Fire
They were deadly foes of Saddam Hussein until, according to a July 29, 1990 New York Times report by Youssef M. Ibrahim, Saddam Hussein was able a few years ago to wipe out the movement's leaders to a man. One of the Iraqi strongman's first moves upon securing Kuwait, therefore, was to snatch the Al Dawa terrorists out of the frying pan of Kuwaiti incarceration into a probably more perilous fire of Iraqi confinement.

There is nothing good to say about the tactics Saddam Hussein has used, including the taking of hostages, to achieve his strategic goals. So facing him down became urgently necessary. But the rush to commit American military forces unilaterally in Saudi Arabia has put not only the lives of our civilian hostages in jeopardy, but the lives of tens of thousands of young American servicemen and women as well. Tragically, these events were made necessary because of a short- sighted US Middle East policy held hostage in part by a head-in-the-sand energy policy geared to consumption rather than conservation, and in part by a potent domestic lobby directed by Israel and made up of Americans who support it right or wrong.

In too many nightmarish ways, present events could become a replay of America's Lebanon experience. The territorial aims of Shamir and his rival within the extremist Likud, Housing Minister Ariel Sharon, and other right-wing Israeli leaders are no less expansionist than Saddam Hussein's.

Our generation-long appeasement of Israeli aggression, which in Lebanon resulted in the loss of American and Arab lives and the continued captivity of others, has provided Saddam Hussein with a ready-made issue to exploit. Of course, in his mouth criticism of a US double standard insofar as Israel is concerned carries little weight at the decision-making level of our government since he, too, is an aggressor. The point of Saddam Hussein's criticism of a double standard when it comes to "annexation" of foreign territories by Iraq or by Israel, however, should not be ignored, even as we try to reverse his aggression.

The criticism is quite appropriately being echoed by millions of Arabs who, besides having done us no wrong, know at first hand the economic and political effects in their lands of decades of dangerously self-centered US power politicking. Similar criticism of US policies has been voiced for many years by respected leaders in every corner of the globe.

The one-sided US policy in the Middle East has so eroded credibility and confidence in our government that American citizens, who have inevitably become scapegoats, are exposed to increasing hazards in ever widening areas of the Middle East.

Although we very likely will muddle through and be able to do something about Saddam Hussein, the victory we gain will be Pyrrhic if we continue to ignore or rationalize Israel's continued occupation of the Palestinian lands it seized by force in 1967, and if we continue to subsidize their miltary occupation.

Until the day when we reconcile our values at home and abroad with our policies in the Middle East, attainment of our goals for peace and stability there will elude us. Americans will continue instead to die or to suffer frightening captivity in the areas where civilization was born and which taught chivalry to Western nations, but which also, through the centuries, has absorbed with little trace the phalanxes of long-extinct colonial empires which, instead of pursuing mutually beneficial commerce and trade, instead sought political and economic domination.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Washington, DC's Arab Network of America Scoops the National Capital

Zalatimo, Dima. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 52.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796394?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

It wasn't CNN, ABC, NBC, or CBS that broke the story of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in America's national capital. At 5:15 pm on Aug. 1, the Washington area's Arab Network of America first announced that Iraqi troops had invaded Kuwait at 2 am Aug. 2, Kuwait time.

"We take great pride in the fact that we broke the news three hours before President Bush was informed, and five hours before CNN reported the story," says ANA's Egyptian-born general manager, Atef Abdel Gawad, with a quiet smile. The Network altered its programming to include ten hours of continuous crisis coverage, relaying hourly Arabic-language newscasts received from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Finding a Niche
Transmitting its signal from a small station in Waldorf, Maryland, and serving the District of Columbia as well as adjacent areas of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, ANA has found its own niche in the media industry. By broadcasting all day, seven days a week in Arabic, ANA represents the nation's first serious endeavor to provide the Arab-American community with a medium suited to its special needs.

ANA's chairman, Saudi businessman Mohammed Bedrawi, explains that his organization conducted a demographic survey of Arab Americans and a study of 14 different media markets. "We found there was a void in the needs of Arab Americans, especially in terms of news," he said. Arab Americans perceived that there was no news about the Middle East coming into American media on a daily basis unless there was a major catastrophe.

"From our study we concluded that the BBC was the news service of preference among Arab Americans," continued Bedrawi. He purchased exclusive US rights to the BBC's Arabic Service news broadcasts, which are also highly respected in the Middle East.

ANA approaches its one-year anniversary with rave reviews from local Arab Americans, who say it is an integral part of their lives because ANA's programming format is so similar to radio in their homelands. In addition to its broadcast of BBC news, ANA airs cultural programs produced by the BBC, drama series it purchases from Arab-world stations and producers, and its own locally produced segments. The latter, which account for one third of the network's programming, include both Muslim and Christian religious shows, music from various regions of the Arab world, including a weekly hour of legendary Egyptian singer Um Kalthoum, daily weather and traffic reports, and call-in shows featuring Arab physicians, academics, and government representatives.

Arab-American entrepreneurs seem especially pleased because ANA is the first selective medium that reaches their target markets directly. "My ads with ANA have given me better results than any other advertising medium," said Mohammed El-Shahed of American Royal Travel, who has advertised with ANA for nine months. "ANA has proved to be the most effective way of reaching the Arab-American consumer.”

Bedrawi stated that while present advertising revenues don't cover ANA's fixed costs, "with future expansion into other markets, we expect to break even soon.”

Soraya Hammad of the Washington-based Center for Educational Development has a problem with ANA broadcasts, however. "As an American of Palestinian descent, I would like to benefit from the services of ANA so that I could be in touch with the Arab world on a daily basis," she explained. "Unfortunately, my command of the Arabic language is too weak.”

Recognizing the need to reach non-Arabic speakers, Bedrawi said ANA's future plans include English language programming, "not only to serve Arab Americans, but to reach other Americans who have a sincere desire to understand the Middle East.”

Divisions among Arab Americans resulting from the current Gulf crisis are reflected in the calls ANA receives from its listeners. These have increased from 70 to about 200 calls a day. ANA has designated regular air time for its listeners to express their opinions.

"Our audience is a divided audience with hearts and aspirations in both camps," said Bedrawi. He added while the vast majority of his audience condemned the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, "Some of these same listeners are opposed to American involvement in the region because they feel it is another form of imperialism. There is an Arabic saying: `The masses follow the religion of their leaders.'“

Charges of Bias
Prior to the crisis, ANA was viewed as the "darling" of the community, according to Bedrawi. It was widely hailed for having united the 70,000 Arab Americans in the Washington, DC area. However, some of the network's listeners claim its coverage of the crisis is biased.

Arab American Khalil Abu Alhawa, who listens regularly to ANA, said the network provides an excellent service to the community, but "their news is not objective." He claimed ANA's coverage of the latest Middle East crisis reflected a bias toward the oil-rich Gulf states and their pro-Western tendencies.

Walid Mohammed, a 38-year-old restaurant manager, said he stopped listening to ANA because it only expressed the views of its Saudi founder.

An Arab diplomat, not from the Gulf, stationed in Washington disagreed. "Unfortunately, people in our community are not interested in disturbing news. They don't want to hear it even if they know it to be true.”

In regard to allegations of bias, Bedrawi responded: "We don't make the news, we report it. We allowed both the Iraqis and Kuwaitis to present their side of the issue. However, until recently, the Iraqi ambassador ignored our invitation to appear on ANA."

The network itself has received massive media coverage, because it is recognized as the news source Arab Americans rely on most heavily for news from the Gulf. Gawad, who recently appeared on NPR's "All Things Considered," said, "We are flooded with requests from different media organizations who want to cover ANA and our coverage of the crisis." In August, NBC's "Today Show" carried a live segment of an ANA listener call-in show, which was aired in English specifically for the event.

ANA recently began transmitting its broadcasts to the Detroit metropolitan area and parts of Canada. According to Bedrawi, Arab-American communities in Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco can also expect ANA broadcasting in the near future, bringing Arab Americans throughout the US a luxury Washington-area Arab Americans already take for granted.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Now We Know Just How Wrong AIPAC Has Been

Dunn, Michael C. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 62.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796516?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The international intervention to defend Saudi Arabia will have lasting repercussions throughout the Arab world, and lasting effects on US relations with it. Could it have been avoided in any way? Perhaps if the Saudis had had a more convincing military deterrent, might Iraq's invasion of Kuwait never have occurred?

From a military point of view, Saudi Arabia could never hope, alone, to defend its oilfields against superior hostile forces for more than a few days. In the event of a genuine threat, it was always inevitable that the Kingdom would have to depend on its friends for protection, as it did in August. The Kingdom's policy, however, has long been to build up a strong enough military capability to deter aggression, and to slow down an invader while foreign assistance arrives.

Saudi efforts to acquire the types of weapons needed have sometimes met with rejection in the US Congress, and other systems have simply not been offered in order to avoid a political battle. This raises the question: If the Saudis had acquired some of the defensive weapons systems they have sought in the past, would this crisis have occurred at all? And even if it had, would the Saudis have had to call for Western troops?

No Easy Answer
There is no easy answer. Certainly if Saudi Arabia felt an attack imminent, it would have needed outside help. Its ground forces will never be large enough to meet a threat from either Iraq or Iran. But if Saudi Arabia had F-15s with true ground attack capability, if the M-1 tanks now on order had been sold a year or two sooner and were in place, if the US had not refused to sell Lance battlefield missiles to counter the Scud threat, might this have deterred Iraq from Gulf adventures?

We can now only speculate over whether a lost deterrent provoked the Iraqi misadventure which in turn triggered a massive American deployment.

The US no longer seems ready to make the kinds of political compromises over Saudi defense which it has made in the past. President Bush and Secretary of Defense Cheney have made clear that Saudi Arabia will receive additional F-15s, Stinger missiles (only a handful were ever sold to the Saudis before), and other equipment which they require. Eventually this should include ground attack aircraft, since the Saudis today have little chance of blunting a tank assault.

Whatever the ultimate cost to the US and the West in dollars or, if the worst case occurs, in human lives, one lesson has been learned. The security of the Gulf oilfields, particularly those of Saudi Arabia, is a major concern not merely to the US, but even more particularly to Western Europe and Japan. Saudi self-defense against aggression is thus a priority. Although there are limits to how far the Saudis will ever be able to go in protecting themselves, given their small population, it is always better to give them the weapons they need to deter aggression so that the West will not be forced to intervene once aggression has occurred.

AIPAC's Efforts
For years, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has sought to block or limit major arms sales to Saudi Arabia, on the grounds that such weaponry posed a threat to Israel. The arguments of successive US administrations that the arms sales were necessary to provide Saudi Arabia with the deterrent it needed to protect its own sovereignty, and the security of the oilfields on which the West is so dependent, rarely succeeded in persuading Congress to approve such sales. Sometimes AIPAC's efforts backfired: when the US refused to sell Saudi Arabia additional F-15s, the Saudis turned to the United Kingdom, which sold them Tornados with a ground attack capability and no basing restrictions of any kind, which the US had used to guarantee the F-15s could not be deployed near Israel. Even former Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin has admitted that that particular British sale was worse for Israel than an American sale would have been.

At times in previous debates, particularly during the difficult battles over AWACS in 1981 and over the Jordanian and Saudi arms packages of 1985 and 1986, AIPAC and its congressional supporters viewed Saudi defense needs purely through the lens of Israeli concerns. A look at how Saudi Arabia deploys its existing forces shows how far off the mark those concerns seem today. The largest concentration of Saudi ground and air forces is deployed in the Gulf region, the second largest along the border with Yemen. The northwest, near Israel, is a very distant third. Yet AIPAC and its friends have argued that any Saudi acquisition is ultimately intended for use against Israel, implying that there is no real military threat to Saudi Arabia from other directions.

A Logical Fallacy
The logical fallacy was always to make arms sale policy in the Gulf, where the US has vital interests, dependent on a very different set of issues involving Israel's disputes with its immediate neighbors. Given the fact that Saudi forces have never been involved against Israel except on a token basis, the Israeli arguments that undermined Saudi security were always flawed. Given the fact that even the Israeli government seldom opposed the Saudi arms packages as strongly as did AIPAC, one suspects that it was not really Israel's security but a demonstration of AIPAC's lobbying clout in Washington which was at stake.

Historians will debate whether Iraqi forces actually intended to move into the Saudi oil fields in the first week of August. Clearly the Saudis received intelligence which convinced them that this was possible. In calling in the American intervention, the Saudis did something they had always avoided, and with full knowledge that its long-term repercussions are unforeseeable. They must have been convinced they had no other choice.

But if Saudi Arabia had an effective tank- killing air arm, battlefield ballistic missiles and a large fleet of modern, main battle tanks -- all of which it has been seeking -- Iraq might have thought twice about invading Kuwait and threatening the Kingdom.

When this crisis ends, the Middle East will be a different place, and the longer the crisis lasts, the more profound the changes will be. It is already clear that, before it leaves, the US administration intends both to sell new equipment and to transfer some of the US equipment already there to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Although years of opposition to arms sales to the Saudis may have sown the dragon's teeth in the region, there is reason to hope that, once the crisis is over, the Saudis will be able to acquire the weapons they need to deter aggression, and thus make it less likely that Western forces will have to come back to the Gulf again and again.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Canada Joins Naval Blockade of Iraq

Dirlik, John. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 63.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218797969?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Ottawa has denounced Iraq's invasion of Kuwait as "totally unacceptable aggression" and ordered two destroyers and a supply ship to the Gulf. Canada's participation is viewed as essentially symbolic, with the ships expected to play a minor role backing up operations by other NATO powers.

Opposition party spokesmen gave qualified support to the move, but questioned the direction of Canadian policy, since this was the first time since World War II that Canada has sent troops abroad other than under the flag of the United Nations.

Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, however, insisted that sending the ships was compatible with Canada's peacekeeping tradition. "Our peacekeeping activities do not remove from us the responsibility for ensuring the integrity of free nations," he said.

Vice-Admiral Chuck Thomas, vice-chief of the defense staff, told reporters that the two aging destroyers have been upgraded with new anti-missile systems and that the crew is outfitted with protective gear in case of a poison gas attack.

But defense experts criticized the ships being sent, claiming they are the least well-equipped in the armada. The Athabascan destroyer is 18 years old and the Terra Nova is over 30 years old. Martin Shadwick, of York University in Toronto, said he was relieved modifications were made to modernize the vessels, "but you can't turn a Chevrolet into a Jaguar.”

The decision to send the warships has angered at least some of the relatives of the estimated 400 Canadians trapped in Iraq and Kuwait. One man said his sister in Baghdad told him by phone that "if it hadn't been for those rust-buckets coming out of mothballs," the Canadians would be free to leave.

Pro-Palestinian T-Shirt Banned
A fourth-grade student in Scarborough, Ontario, barred from class for wearing a pro-Palestinian t-shirt, has won the support of the local media and the Canadian Civil Liberties Union. Ten-year-old Yesmeen Musa was sent home from Knob Hill Junior after two Jewish teachers were" offended" by her shirt, which showed a Palestinian flag above the map of Jerusalem and the words: "We fight for our right.”

The school principal and officials of the Scarborough Board of Education (SBE) sided with the teachers, claiming the slogan "advocated fighting and violence" and therefore violated the school's code of ethics, which promoted the resolution of conflicts by peaceful means. One boardmember went further, charging that the shirt contained "Symbolism that is anti-Semitic and that has no place in Scarborough schools.”

A Scarborough Mirror editorial dismissed the allegations of anti-Semitism as" stretching the definition," and called the school's action an" abuse of the teacher's authority.”

The Canadian Civil Liberties Union (CCLU), alerted by the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) on behalf of the Musa family, found that the school "misdirected themselves" in removing the girl from class. The t-shirt "cannot reasonably be construed as advocating violence," said Alan Borovoy of the CCLU. Pointing to clothing that might express support for South African activist Nelson Mandela, Borovoy asked whether that too would be prohibited.

Both the CCLU and CAF called on the Scarborough Board of Education to revoke its ruling and apologize to the girl's parents. When the SBE refused to do that, the Canadian Arab Federation filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Scarborough Board of Education officials have since sounded a more conciliatory tone, saying they may re-evaluate their position at the next board of trustees meeting. "If impartial mediators find the interpretation [of the school's code of ethics] is wrong, we'd be prepared to reverse the decision," said Bob Heath, associate superintendent.

PLO Blamed For Girl's Death
Although no group claimed responsibility for the bomb explosion that killed a 17-year-old student from Toronto, Jewish organizations were quick to blame the PLO.

Marnie Kimelman, on a six-week tour sponsored by the Canadian Zionist Organization, died of massive internal injuries after a pipe-bomb exploded near her on a crowded beach in Tel Aviv.

Describing the PLO as the"grand orchestrator of terrorist activities against Israel," B'nai B'rith delivered a 1200-name petition to the office of External Affairs Minister Joe Clark, demanding an "immediate suspension of all contacts" with the PLO.

While even Israeli officials refrained from pointing fingers, the editor of the Montreal Mirror, a staunchly Zionist weekly, was taking the PLO's complicity for granted. "The PLO thinks nothing of blowing up a Toronto girl," wrote Christy McCormick, adding that" Terrorists are maddened rats that must be exterminated.”

The External Affairs department said there was "no evidence" implicating the PLO. Asked if it would sever ties with the Palestinian organization should it claim responsibility, spokesman Robert Peck answered, "That's purely hypothetical. Canada has always had a dialogue with the PLO through highs and lows.”

The National Council on Canadian and Arab Relations (NCCAR) criticized B'nai B'rith for its "unsubstantiated allegations against the leadership of the people of Palestine that amount to anti-Palestinian hate-mongering.”

Hassan Abdul Rahman, the PLO representative in Ottawa, denied any involvement of his group in the bomb attack. "No one knows who is responsible," he said. Rahman expressed regret for the victim, but added: "People must realize that there is an occupation and a war going on and should stay away from the area.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Rabbis for Gush vs. Clergy for Peace

Walz, L Humphrey. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 67.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784276?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Newsletter Number 42 of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (ICIPP) recalls two events which, though as unlike as could be, had certain superficial similarities: Both occurred on May 14. Both involved Israeli rabbis. And both were rooted in the same tragedy.

Israeli television newscasts showed enthusiastic supporters of Rabbi Moshe Levinger carrying him on their shoulders to Eyal prison. Not reported in Israeli media was the condolence visit by four rabbis and two Christian pastors, all active in Clergy for Peace, to the family of Kaid Salah, whom Levinger had killed.

Levinger is the leader of Gush Emunim, the Jewish fundamentalist movement which has forcibly transformed Palestinian property around Hebron into the sprawling West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, and which wants to expand it further. Back in September 1988, the rabbi drove into downtown Hebron and fired his pistol in all directions. Salah, a 42-year-old Palestinian who was serving a customer inside his shop, was killed by one of Levinger's bullets and another Hebron merchant was wounded.

Levinger's trial for this fatal shooting lasted 18 months. In each of seven previous trials for violent offenses he had been found guilty, but in not one case had he been sentenced. This time he was again convicted, not for murder or manslaughter, but for" criminal negligence." He was also sentenced -- to five months in Eyal prison.

A hundred rabbis of his ilk hailed him as a "hero in the pioneering mold." One of them, the influential Moshe Tzvi Neria, made the news by publicly advocating the practice of shooting in all directions when confronted by Palestinians. The ICIPP newsletter sees these events as catalysts for the "Rishon le-Tzion massacre" in which an Israeli militant, promptly labeled "deranged," shot dead seven unemployed Palestinians waiting for short-term jobs.

Prior to the May 14 visit, the six representatives of Clergy for Peace had inquired whether Salah's Muslim surviving kin would welcome a Jewish-Christian delegation. Having received a positive response, they met in his home with his widow, children, siblings and other relatives, not only to offer condolences but also to discuss the factors underlying the tragedy, the polarizing aftermath and the urgency for persistent, concerted and deep-seated remedial social action.

The detailed ICIPP account states in closing: "An overwhelming graciousness and warmth was shown by the bereaved family. A rabbi summed up the visit, saying, `We came to console, and we were comforted.'" (Up-to-date information about subsequent developments can be secured from Clergy for Peace, PO Box 8343, Jerusalem 91083, or from Friends of Clergy for Peace, 1042 Sierra St., Berkeley, CA 94707.)
Berger on "Religion and Politics”

For a leading role in its seven-day international seminar on" Religion and Political Power" the University of Madrid picked scholar-humanitarian Rabbi Elmer Berger, president of New York-based American Jewish Alternatives to Zionism (AJAZ). His historically and geographically wide-ranging talk at the August event contrasted Zionist politics with Biblical faith and ethics.

Defining politics as "the art of the possible," and religion as" the art of learning to live in constant, agitating pursuit of the elusive best," Berger said each needs the other to advance" human betterment and elimination of commonly perceived evils. Alone, politics can deteriorate into narrow, self-serving and blighting pragmatism, and religion can sink into fanaticism, self-righteous inflexibility or smug irrelevance.”

For its corporate health, he indicated, Israel needs strong infusions of the justice, mercy and trusting obedience to God the Hebrew prophets demanded of all societies and their citizens. Instead, Israel has chosen to base its policies, programs and practices on its three "basic" or "fundamental" laws, which are discriminatory and which substitute for a constitution. These laws grant to an undefined worldwide "Jewish people" certain collective rights which the laws withhold from everyone else.

The Law of Return grants the "Jewish people," and no one else, the right to immigrate to Israel.

The Law of Nationality offers full, immediate Israeli citizenship -- with its many special economic, social and political benefits -- exclusively to Jewish immigrants.

The clumsily, comprehensively titled World Zionist Organization/Jewish Agency for Israel (Status) Law is designed to enable the WZO and its sister organizations to solicit tax-exempt "charitable" gifts abroad for Israeli national purposes, the foremost of which is to stimulate world-wide Jewish immigration. This Berger ironically interpreted as "the Zionist exhortation for all Jews to finance and support their abandonment of their existing nationality and to acquire Israeli nationality and citizenship!”

By contrast, the Biblical prophets' reference to any "return" was to, or related to, the God whose thoughts and ways were higher than their own. A comparable challenge, Berger told the scholarly, multinational assemblage, should be high on today's religious agenda.

Video on Palestine and Other Nonviolent Resistance
"Where There is Hatred," the new 56-minute Icarus videotape produced by Ilan Ziv, derives its title from a phrase in the Franciscan prayer, "Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace." A spirited blend of moral and pragmatic emphases, it is introduced by Maryknoll Father William Mullan. Gene Sharp of the Harvard Program on Nonviolent Sanctions punctuates its intimate onsite interviews and vivid TV news footage with comments on the depicted strategies of peaceful resistance to political oppression.

Though not limited to Chileans under Pinochet, Filipinos under Marcos or Palestinians under Israeli occupation, it is with the struggles of these peoples that it primarily deals. A few grim sequences of the damage and carnage wrought by guerrilla-type resistance stress the importance of the alternative it offers: courageously launched, skillfully organized, determinedly maintained, boldly executed, acts of unarmed "people power" to frustrate, confuse, divide, undercut and economically drain -- and so destroy or transform -- the oppressor.

The stirring scenes of nonviolence vs. violence indicate that the former option, though painfully costly in many ways, is worth more of a try than it has been given. In outline, the presentation embraces country after country in four successive segments: "Crossing the Barrier of Fear," "Unity and Empowerment," Demilitarizing the Military," and "After the Victory: Searching for a Strategy.”

Its grippingly informative impact is worth many times the $30 it takes to buy it from either the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Box 271, Nyack, NY 10960, or Maryknoll World Video, Maryknoll, NY 10545. (A PAL version is available for use overseas.)
Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



American Muslims Divided Over Crisis in the Gulf

Zalatimo, Dima. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 68.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796577?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

For hundreds of Muslims who arrived at Washington's Islamic Center for Friday prayers, the circus atmosphere created by scurrying reporters and camera crews of all three television networks was an ominous reminder of the unfolding events in the Gulf.

The scene was indicative of the media's new-found interest in the US Islamic community. Since the Aug. 2 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, print and broadcast media have regularly solicited appearances from Muslim leaders in the United States to discuss Islam and the application of Islamic law in relation to the present situation. Muslims throughout the country have also been increasingly invited to air their opinions.

Inside the mosque, Imam Ahmed Kattan started his Aug. 31 khutbah, or sermon, with a forceful condemnation of the US military presence in the Gulf. "As a Kuwaiti I can assure you that we were forced into this situation and we don't like it," he said. "We know that the Americans are only there to protect their interests in our oil.”

In an emotional appeal to Islamic values of honor, trust and honesty, the Imam told worshippers of many ethnic backgrounds that since the Kuwaiti people are Muslims, "I adopt the Kuwaiti cause from an Islamic perspective, although Palestine is still the issue of utmost importance to our people." Addressing the Iraqi leadership, the Imam ended his sermon by blasting its usurpation of Kuwait for giving Israel a justification for similarly seizing Arab lands.

Listening to the political debates after the prayer, it was evident just how perplexed and divided the Muslim community is over this emotionally charged issue.

Hamza Mohammed, an African-American Muslim who attended the prayer services, said he didn't feel Arabs and Muslims had a chance to solve their problems before the US intervened. While contending that Saddam Hussein's hostility towards the Kuwaiti government was justified, he said, "Saddam didn't exhaust all the options of negotiating a peaceful settlement.”

Khalil Khalil, an expert in Islamic law at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, said while he was uncomfortable with outside interference in the region, "When it is needed, it should be there. I would like to thank the American government for responding immediately.”

Khalil Abdo, a Palestinian waiter from Jerusalem, felt the Saudis have introduced the Middle East to a new form of imperialism by inviting US troops, adding, "The Americans are there to stay.”

One issue Muslims in the US seem to agree upon is the nature of the Iraqi regime. Abdurahman Alamoudi of the Washington-based American Muslim Council pointed out that Saddam Hussein has a deplorable history in the Arab world and, "The Arabs don't forget it. They don't support Saddam; they support opposition to US intervention.”

Alamoudi offered the reaction of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan to prove his point.

"Initially, the Brotherhood issued two press releases condemning the Iraqi invasion. However, after the massive deployment of US troops, people forgot about Saddam's record and concentrated on America," Alamoudi said. "Saddam Hussein might be wrong, but it is not America who should correct him.”

The escalation of the crisis and talk of war is a tool used by the Bush administration to divert public attention from domestic economic problems, according to Alamoudi. "The savings and loan problem alone is a huge one," he said. "It will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. The troop deployment in the Gulf will only cost $50 to $60 billion and the Saudis will pay for much of it.”

However, Mowahid Shah, a lawyer and editor of Eastern Times, believes that war is inevitable.

"The decision has already been taken by the United States to go to war," he asserted. `The American troops are not there on a picnic. Unfortunately, we will see new bloodshed in the Middle East.”

Shah, who recently appeared on a CSPAN roundtable discussion about the crisis, said he found it ironic that the US government became morally aroused by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in light of" our encouragement and military support which made Saddam Hussein what he is today.”

The Persian Gulf crisis has created clear-cut divisions within the Islamic community. However, it is possible that the present situation may provide a needed catalyst for Muslims in the US to air their opinions and become more involved locally and nationally in the American political process. All agree that after August 1990, the Middle East will never again be the same. Perhaps the same truism applies to Islam in America.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



ARAB-AMERICAN ACTIVISM

Willford, Catherine M. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 68.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218794911?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Arab-American Reaction to Gulf Crisis
While the National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA), the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), and the Arab American Institute (AAI) have joined in condemning Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, the three groups hold differing opinions on the deployment of US troops in Saudi Arabia. President Jawad George has pledged NAAA's support for a defensive US military presence in the region to "protect US vital interests and those of our Arab allies." James Zogby, AAI executive director, has also supported the use of limited US military forces, but cautioned that the US has "a serious credibility problem in the Middle East generally.”

Both groups have stressed that the Bush administration should operate in all ways within international consensus, with US military forces functioning as part of a multinational force. NAAA has called on the US government to cooperate specifically with the League of Arab States.

ADC's position, however, is that any defensive troops in the region must be under the command of the United Nations. "President Bush's unilateral decision to send US ground forces to the area is wrong and can only further destabilize the area," said retiring ADC President Abdeen Jabara. "In resolving the current crisis we need more diplomacy and less military build-up." A recent bulletin to ADC's membership states that "From past history, we know that US intervention in a Third World situation only makes the United States and its citizens targets and destabilizes the region where the intervention occurs.”

All three groups have expressed deep concern about the situation of foreign nationals in Kuwait and Iraq. ADC has announced a petition drive to Saddam Hussein for the release of all foreign nationals.

Fear of Anti-Arab Backlash
Anti-Arab threats and violence were reported across the country almost immediately after the invasion began. These have ranged from death threats and phone harassment to the beatings of Arab Americans in Chicago and Toledo.

AAI has appealed to elected officials to speak out against anti-Arab backlash and to defend the rights of Arab Americans and their record of public service.

Since the tragic murder of Alex Odeh, ADC's regional director for Southern California in 1985, ADC has kept a log of hate crimes directed at Arab Americans. An analysis of the data collected indicates a direct correlation between the number and intensity of threats and acts of violence and specific crises in the Middle East. "There is absolutely no question that, since the invasion of Kuwait, there has been an increase in discrimination against Arabs all over, and it will continue as long as the situation becomes more violent overseas," according to Albert Mokhiber, ADC director of legal services and president-elect.

ADC has requested that FBI Director William Sessions inform all FBI field offices of the current problems facing Arab Americans, the potential for further acts of violence and terrorism, and the possibility of attacks by known anti-Arab hate and terrorist groups. To report any incidents of anti-Arab violence, call the US government Hate Crimes Hot Line at 1-800-347-HATE or the ADC National Office at (202) 244-2990.

American Arab Affairs Council Workshops
The Washington, DC-based American Arab Affairs Council gives two-day educational workshop/seminars which are conducted annually throughout the US at the same college or university in a three-year cycle. These workshops are co-sponsored by the state committees and the local college or university and enable the Council to offer guidance to approximately 100 secondary-level social studies teachers on teaching about the Arab world and Islam.

Through lectures and workshops, the first-year seminar is designed to dispel stereotypes. The second year a different set of lecturers provides substantive knowledge, and for the third year yet another set of lecturers expands the horizons of the teachers on the Arab world and Islam.

Each teacher receives a starter library of relevant books and teaching materials at each seminar. The Council will present 10 educational workshop/seminars in 1991 and has already confirmed workshops through 1993.

American Iraqi Foundation
The American Iraqi Foundation, a new public interest group, was founded in July. The non-profit foundation, which is based in the Washington, DC area, seeks to provide a comprehensive structure within which Iraqi Americans who are US citizens or permanent residents can express and act upon their shared concerns. At its inaugural convention a 25-member board of directors was elected, along with nine regional vice presidents. Chief officers are President Dr. Salim Mansoor, Vice President Fuad Taima, Secretary Dr. Ali Al-Hussaini, and Treasurer Abdul-Sahib Jassim.

New ADC Officials
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has announced the appointments of Albert Mokhiber as president, Hala Deeb Jabbour as executive director and Amal Benedict as media director.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Report Says Israeli Policies Lead to Palestinian Killings

Nyhan, Sally C. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 69.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218810986?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Israeli governmental policies are encouraging Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers to use regularly unjustified, lethal force against Palestinians in the occupied territories, leading to large numbers of unnecessary deaths, according to a new report issued by Middle East Watch, a branch of Human Rights Watch.

The August 1990 report, titled "The Israeli Army and the Intifada: Policies that Contribute to the Killings," is based on visits made by Middle East Watch members to Israel and the occupied territories in February, March, May and June 1990.

The report specifically cited three IDF policies leading to "excessive" killings of Palestinians during the intifada. These were "unduly permissive" rules on when troops can open fire; the failure of the IDF properly to investigate killings and punish military misconduct; and "unjustified" restrictions imposed by the IDF on independent human rights agencies attempting to monitor activities in the occupied territories.

Middle East Watch reports that, although Israeli authorities blame Palestinian violence for the number of deaths during the intifada, it is actually Israeli policies that encourage lack of restraint by IDF troops. "The most glaring exceptions," the report said, "can be seen in...open-fire orders issued to IDF troops," which "explicitly authorize soldiers to use lethal force in response to certain situations that are not life-threatening to soldiers or bystanders." These orders include the use of lethal force to stop fleeing Palestinians and to shoot masked Palestinians, and the use of allegedly non-lethal plastic bullets, which have caused more than 100 deaths.

Middle East Watch also cited the lack of adequate investigation into, and punishment for, deaths caused by soldiers violating rules of engagement.

"To ensure that standards of conduct are adhered to, soldiers must believe there is a substantial risk that they will be discovered and punished if they violate those standards," Middle East Watch said. Of 450 killings by the end of June 1989, only 16 soldiers had been court martialed, and only 10 convicted.

Punishments ranged from official reprimands to two-year prison sentences. Less than 1 in 60 killings resulted in a prison sentence, a small fraction of the number of cases in which there was ample evidence that soldiers had exceeded their orders.

In addition, Middle East Watch found, "Many of the incidents of excessive force that have led to prosecution were those noticed by monitors outside the IDF," including news reporters and independent human rights observers. The IDF often refused these observers access into areas of confrontation "at the very moment when their presence would be most powerful as a restraining force," according to the report.

Middle East Watch also noted three more factors contributing to the number of Palestinian deaths during the intifada: the IDF's use of aggressive tactics to suppress nonviolent demonstrations and other acts of defiance; IDF policies on troop deployment; and lack of training in handling confrontations without resorting to lethal force.

"In general, the IDF has sought to project an image of undisputed control over the territories by suppressing demonstrations and other `illegal' activities," the report said. These activities included flag-flying and graffiti-writing. Virtually all demonstrations are branded illegal, and the presence of IDF soldiers often sets off clashes between occupier and occupied. In particular, the IDF practice of being present at highly emotional funerals for slain Palestinians sparks confrontation. Since June 1990, Middle East Watch found, when Moshe Arens became minister of defense and encouraged soldiers to avoid confrontation, the number of Palestinians killed has declined.

Middle East Watch also concluded that the IDF practice of using small troop deployments increased the number of Palestinian casualties, as troops tended to feel outnumbered and more inclined to open fire in hostile situations.

Finally, the report found that the IDF does not provide adequate training in nonviolent crowd control measures, which often leaves soldiers feeling that they have no choice but to open fire to protect themselves.

Middle East Watch calls on the Israeli government to "revise radically" the policies of the IDF in the occupied territories by ensuring that the use of excessive force by its soldiers will be punished; by giving the IDF rules of engagement more suited to a law enforcement role than a military one; and by giving human rights monitors greater freedom in the occupied territories.

The organization also calls on the US to increase its monitoring of abuses in the occupied territories by actively following IDF investigations, publicly voicing its disapproval of the tactics used by the IDF, and calling on the Israeli government to curtail unjustified killings by the IDF.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



JEWS AND ISRAEL

Barron, Andrea. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 70.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796440?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

US Jews React to Iraqi Invasion
Jewish leaders and pro-Israel members of Congress say the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait represents both good news and bad news for Israel and US-Israeli relations.

The good news first. Pro-Israeli activists argue that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's aggression has proven that Israel is not the major cause of instability in the Middle East, as the Arabs have claimed. The invasion "points out that Israel's concern about the threat posed by hostile Arab states has been real all along," said Seymour Reich, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. "The Palestinian issue is not the real issue in what's occurring today," he told the Washington Jewish Week. "It's a red herring.”

The invasion has also relieved US pressure on Israel to negotiate with Palestinians on a West Bank-Gaza settlement, and has further discredited the PLO in the eyes of US policymakers. According to the Near East Report, the newsletter of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the PLO is probably the "biggest loser" of all the parties involved in the current Mideast crisis. The newsletter cited a cable the intifada leadership sent to Saddam, calling the Iraqi invasion the first step toward the "liberation of Palestine.”

Also, at least for the duration of the Gulf crisis, Jewish leaders are saying, there won't be any more talk on Capital Hill about reducing US aid to Israel. Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole (D-KS), for instance, said he will not bring up his proposal about cutting aid to Israel and four other large recipients of US aid. In fact, Israel is likely to receive more US aid to help settle Soviet Jewish immigrants and to improve its military capabilities vis-a-vis the Saudis, who are scheduled to receive an emergency shipment of F-15 fighter jets.

Saddam Hussein has helped the Israeli cause so much on Capitol Hill that, according to the Washington Jewish Week, one pro-Israel member of Congress said some members of Congress were asking if the Iraqi leader was on AIPAC's payroll!
The Iraqi invasion could also, however, have some negative implications for Israel. Israel has always claimed it more than deserves the $3 billion plus it receives in US aid because of its strategic value to the United States. But Israel has been asked to maintain a low profile in this crisis, so as not to alienate the Arab countries now allied with the US against Saddam Hussein. As a result, the US may come to rely increasingly on Saudi Arabia, not Israel, as its major strategic ally in the Middle East.

AFSI Attacks New Israel Fund
Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI), the far-right group which supports annexation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, has just published a controversial pamphlet attacking the New Israel Fund, an American Jewish philanthropy which some view as the liberal alternative to the United Jewish Appeal.

The pamphlet, entitled, "The New Israel Fund -- a New Fund for Israel's Enemies," was written by AFSI's executive director, Joseph Puder. Puder charges the fund with embracing a startling variety of extremist crusades in its determination to transform Israel into a country that "may satisfy members of the American Civil Liberties Union, but will bear scant resemblance to the Jewish State for which Jews longed for two thousand years.”

Founded in 1977 by San Francisco businessman Jonathan Cohen, the New Israel Fund now has an annual income of more than $7 million a year. Its largest grantee in 1990 was the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), which received $350,000. Almost half of Puder's 30-page pamphlet is a diatribe against ACRI, which the author says is engaged in "relentless legal crusades [that] have directly hampered Israel's battle against PLO terrorism.”

Puder accuses ACRI of trying to prevent Israel from "demolishing the homes of terrorists" and of campaigning against Israel's policy of administrative detention, which allows security forces to imprison alleged terrorists for periods of up to one year without trial. Puder says the New Israel Fund "has even called for the abolition of Israeli laws which prevent intermarriage between Jews and Arabs." (puder does not explain how a marriage can "directly hamper Israel's battle against PLO terrorism.")
The New Israel Fund is also criticized for granting $200,000 in 1989 to Neve Shalom, a Jewish-Arab cooperative village outside Jerusalem. Puder describes Neve Shalom as a place where Jewish residents "must suppress their identity lest their Arab neighbors take offense" and a place that attracts a "pro-PLO" professor who sits on the board of American Friends of Neve Shalom.

AIPAC, meanwhile, has nothing but praise for Neve Shalom. In a July 30 Near East Report article, two interns write that at Neve Shalom, "Jewish and Arab children develop a mutual awareness of their particular identity, culture, and customs in an atmosphere that transcends ethnic divisions." Did Joseph Puder and the Near East Report interns visit the same village?

Peace Now Says Israel Still Needs to Resolve Palestinian Question
The Iraqi invasion and widespread Palestinian support for Saddam has deeply embarrassed the Israeli peace movement, alienating some of the Palestinians' strongest allies, such as Yossi Sarid, a leader of the left-wing Citizens Rights Movement in Israel's parliament. "If the Palestinians want to resume talks, they must now chase after me," Sarid said.

Peace Now, Israel's largest peace organization, also has expressed disappointment with the Palestinian reaction, arguing that the Palestinians' support for Saddam is "not justified even by their understandable frustrations." But in a letter sent to Peace Now supporters in the US, Peace Now leader Dr. Mordechai Bar-On said that "Whatever the outcome of the current crisis, the impossibility of a long-term suppression of the national aspirations of the Palestinians by sheer force is not only immoral but simply untenable. We remain convinced that the main danger to the physical and spiritual welfare of the Jewish state, indeed to our most basic security needs, stems from the unresolved conflict with the Palestinians and with our neighboring Arab states.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Trade and Finance

Haldane, John T. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  5 (Oct 31, 1990): 71.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218815530?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

New EC Tariffs May Hurt Gulf States
A revamp of the European Community's (EC) tariff system for imports from developing nations may exclude many petrochemical imports from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil-producing nations.

New proposals for the generalized system of preferences (GSP), effective Jan. 1, 1992, would allow the EC to consider trade patterns and per capita income of candidates being considered for inclusion in GSP. This would make it difficult to justify the inclusion of such oil-wealthy states as Saudi Arabia. Imports of seven Saudi petrochemical products already are ineligible for GSP.

The EC has also hinted that preference may be given to those developing countries that are participating in the GATT Uruguay round. Outside the Soviet Union and China, the Arab countries are the largest bloc not supporting GATT.

The EC is the Arab world's largest trading partner. Thirty-six percent of Arab imports came from the EC in 1988, while 42 percent of Arab exports went to EC members. Most of the Arab imports were machinery, equipment and capital goods, while oil was the primary export.

Bahrain Expands Stock Exchange
Dr. Fawzi Behzad, director of the Bahrain Stock Exchange, announced recently that foreign investors now have access to the exchange, following the granting of membership to companies allowed to offer their shares to foreigners. The first such firm was the Arab Banking Corporation, which has offered 25 million shares to the public in order to increase its capital by $250 million.

Dr. Behzad explained that Bahrain is interested in encouraging foreign brokerage firms to be listed on the exchange in order to give international investors access to the local market. The exchange presently requires joint brokerage firms to be set up with Bahraini partners, with Bahraini companies or individuals holding not less than 51 percent of the capital. Branches of foreign or exempt companies, however, may broker transactions on the exchange.

The director also stated that plans are being developed for establishment of mutual funds and unit trusts, The funds will invest in local company shares listed on the exchange and will include non-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) investors, such as expatriates living on the island. The exchange expects to present a draft law for approval by the end of this year.

The exchange presently lists 30 companies. However, only the Arab Banking Corporation has been permitted to issue equity that can be sold to non-residents. Trading in the stock of the remaining 29 firms is limited to Bahrainis and other GCC nationals.

Sumed and Suez Canal to be Enlarged
Egypt's two big oil routes, the Sumed pipeline and the Suez Canal, are scheduled for major expansion. They are vying to move as much as possible of the oil flowing between the Middle East and Western Europe, with the main beneficiary being the Egyptian economy. In addition to the time saved compared to sending oil by supertanker all the way around the Cape, a recent study indicates that there is a marked financial saving for crude and product transporters by using Sumed or the Suez Canal, with the pipeline showing a slight advantage over the canal. Whereas an estimated 800,000 barrels per day (b/d) moves to Europe via the Cape route, Sumed is rated to handle 1.6 million b/d, with the canal rated comparably.

More than 50 percent of Arab oil from the Gulf destined for Europe went through Sumed last year. The pipeline runs from Ain Sukhna, 35 miles south of Suez, across the Eastern Desert to a point just south of Cairo, there turning northwest to Sidi Kerir on the Mediterranean coast, 15 miles west of Alexandria.

Although in the closing weeks of 1989 Sumed was carrying about 95 percent of its capacity, shortly before that it was reported to be handling almost 120 percent, around 1.9 million b/d. With such fluctuations in mind and anticipating good business in the future, the pipeline's operator, the Arab Petroleum Company (APPC), has given the go-ahead to a project to raise capacity. Ibrahim Hamza, APPC chairman, confirmed that Egyptian Minister of Oil Abd El-Hady Kandil had approved $90 million for this purpose. The pipeline was designed with the possibility of expanding operations to about 2.4 b/d.

According to Muhammad Izzat Adil, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Japan has offered an $800-million loan to help finance the second stage of the canal expansion. This part of the expansion plan will consider the economic feasibility of increasing the permissible draft to 67 feet, to permit the passage of fully laden tankers of up to 270,000 dwt. The results of a feasiblity study are expected in early 1991. The Suez Canal earned a record income of $1.4 billion in 1989, up $73 million from 1988.

The Maghreb Worries About 1992
The members of the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, are becoming increasingly apprehensive about the formation of a single European market in 1992. Two-thirds of Maghrebi exports go to Western Europe, which is also a major source of aid and funding and a home for about 400,000 expatriate workers. The UMA fears that the EC will turn inward, and confine its interest in foreign developments to its growing involvement in Eastern Europe and the implications of a reunified Germany on EC policies.

When the UMA was formed in February 1989, it was widely regarded as a pragmatic step which would enhance political and economic stability in the region by stimulating internal commerce, financing joint projects and creating a regional labor market. After all, the North African region has a total population of 62 million and vast untapped resources of oil, gas, phosphates, fish and iron ore. Unfortunately, however, economic similarities between the various Maghreb states are limited to a great extent to their problems -- a lack of capital, escalating foreign debt and high unemployment. The most promising opportunity is for increased intra-UMA trade, which currently runs at less than 5 percent of total regional trade.

Since it is unlikely that local markets will replace the lucrative EC market in the near future, the concern over EC attitudes plays a dominant role in UMA capitals. For example, the removal of trade barriers between EC members in 1992 means that Spain and Portugal will dominate access to the European market for oranges and grapefruit, to the disadvantage of citrus-exporting Morocco. There also is considerable concern that workers from the poorer EC member countries may come to replace the thousands of North African expatriate workers.

The EC has sought to allay UMA fears by recommending a "considerable improvement" in both the volume and method of EC aid to the region. A recent report prepared by the EC Commissioner for Euro-Arab Relations states that the EC should be more generous in keeping its markets open to North African exports, including textiles as well as farm products.

While a formal statement issued by EC foreign ministers recently "confirmed the Twelve's desire to strengthen privileged cooperation with the Mediterranean countries," it is likely that Great Britain and West Germany, as in the past, will balk at any suggestion that EC spending in the region be increased.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



After the Iraqi Invasion Of Kuwait: Putting Middle Eastern Jinn Back in Their Bottles

Burtiss, Richard H. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 5.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218815660?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

"[Israeli] government officials seemed relieved that the attention of the United States might be turned away, at least for a while, from the Administration's push for Israeli-Palestinian talks. Foreign Minister David Levy is scheduled to visit Washington later this month for discussions on that matter.”

-- Joel Brinkley, The New York Times, Aug. 2, 1990
The Jinn, capricious spirits that assume varied forms to serve unseen masters, have arisen again from the oil lamps of the Middle East. Everyone who can describe at least one such malign genie advocates a sure-fire incantation to break its spell. Each demon, however, releases others. None can be exorcised permanently until all are contained. With the end of the Cold War, however, an American president at last has the means to restore them all to their bottles, but only if he is resolute enough to deal with them as a whole, rather than "step by step.”

Initial, spontaneous reactions to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait provide revealing points of reference. The first comments from Washington indicated the administration of George Bush has a firmer grasp of Middle East realities than did that of his predecessor. Bush's apparent initial sensitivity to the desirability of "Arab solutions," insofar as those are possible, and the negative consequences of applying military force before political and economic pressures have been exhausted was echoed in the statements of some independent "Middle East experts" and editors. For a change, the United States, not Israel, seemed to be making initial American decisions.

Many congressmen, however, took their cues from the Israel lobby and its own contrasting array of "experts." Like Henry Kissinger, they would involve the US militarily in unilateral, hasty and ultimately unnecessary moves designed to spill American blood and create a new, desperately needed "enemy" for America in the Middle East. This "enemy" in turn would justify the continued arming and funding of Israel. Such hidden agenda "experts" were heedless of the consequences of their ill-conceived ideas to America's major Arab allies, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and to long-run stability in the Gulfoil fields, where lie 60 percent of the world's proven petroleum reserves.

In Israel there was unconcealed glee that Arab countries were fighting each other, regardless of the consequences to petroleum-dependent world economies. There was also profound relief that under the pressure of events the Bush administration might abandon its attempt to freeze the most recent $400 million in "construction loan guarantees" voted for Israel by Congress, pending concessions by Israel on freezing further West Bank Jewish settlement activity.

At the same time, Israeli warnings against "the entry of Iraqi troops into Jordan" hinted at ominous discussions preoccupying Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's right-wing Israeli government.

The subject, an Israeli "pre-emptive" attack ostensibly directed at Iraq, but with Jordan as the prize, is only one of the Middle East "events waiting to happen," which must be anticipated and dealt with by George Bush, James Baker III, and Richard Cheney.

Israel's Destabilizing Potential: The Struggle for Jordan
"Israel could feel free now to invade nearby Jordan under the pretext of `preserving national security,' which would do three things: dethrone King Hussein, make a Palestinian state there an absolute certainty, and heighten the risk of total war.”

George Thompson, USA Today, Aug. 3, 1990
In 1967 the Soviets told Syria that military radio intercepts indicated it was about to be attacked by Israel. Syria appealed to Egypt for support. Egypt agreed, ordered out UN forces guarding its borders with Israel and induced Jordan's King Hussein to sign a treaty to come to Egypt's and Syria's aid if they were attacked. Israel attacked Egypt, Hussein came to Egypt's assistance and Israel seized the West Bank from him. The West Bank and Syria's Golan Heights were Israel's primary objectives in that war, and Israel has held both ever since.

Events in 1990 are eerily reminiscent of that earlier sequence. King Hussein, wisely or unwisely, has become the ally of an aggressive Saddam Hussein. Israel has warned that Iraqi forces on Jordanian soil will be attacked. American Defense Intelligence Agency experts "estimate" (their word, not ours) that Israel will launch aerial attacks against Iraq with or without such a provocation.

The prize, however, is not Iraq, a country of 17 million people, far too big for Israel to swallow or hold. Israeli hardliners like Ariel Sharon, back in government, plan to engineer the downfall of King Hussein in the chaos of the next Middle East war, which they are prepared to start themselves if the United States can't be tricked into starting it for them.

Then they will "transfer" into Jordan Israel's remaining Palestinians, and tell them they now have their Palestinian state. Such an Israeli success in 1990, like the Israeli success in 1967, will ensure renewed bloodshed between Arabs and Jews, and continued Middle East instability for at least another generation to come.

Saddam Hussein, Superstar
"In one stroke he has done something about the money problem, he has found something for the army to do and his people are very happy to get Kuwait. Now they have gotten something out of the war.”

Laurie Mylroie, Harvard University, Aug. 2, 1990
In July 1988, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein won his bloody eight-year war with Iran. To his own people victory was bittersweet, with an estimated 300,000 Iraqi dead, more wounded and maimed, and no gains on the ground. To the Arab world at large, however, Iraq had fought a non-Arab country three times its size to a standstill in a bitter era that has seen few Arab military triumphs.

Next, Saddam, as he is known to his people, correctly estimated that Israel was about to launch an aerial attack, like the one in 1981, but aimed this time at the rocket and chemical weapons facilities that had clinched Iraq's victory over Iran. Saddam warned Israel's Yitzhak Shamir that, if attacked, Iraq would use whatever remained of its rocket-borne chemical warheads to "scorch" half of Israel. Then Saddam vowed similar retribution for an Israeli attack on any Arab country.

The threats didn't pay Iraqi widows' pensions, or get the 70,000 Iraqi prisoners held by Iran released, but Arabs from Morocco to the Gulf thrilled with pride that at last Israel, and the United States, had to take threats of Arab military retaliation seriously.

Saddam's next move was a master stroke. While Iraqi youths were dying to protect all of the Gulf Arabs from Iran, he said, Kuwait had profited from pumping oil that rightfully belonged to Iraq.

Now Kuwait was refusing to forgive its loans to Iraq's war effort. Also, along with the United Arab Emirates, Saddam said, Kuwait was cheating massively on its OPEC oil production quota, thus keeping world oil prices low and making it impossible for major oil producers, like Iraq and its erstwhile enemy Iran, to recover from the war.

He had coordinated his condemnation of Kuwait and the UAE in advance with Iran, and once again Arab masses cheered. Most dream of a day when Muslim countries can stand together to resist dictates from the West, and Israel. And Arab have-nots have stereotyped the oil-rich Kuwaitis as arrogant and selfish.

To many Arabs, particularly those far from his borders, Saddam Hussein began to emerge as an authentic hero, perhaps even on the pattern of Salaheddin, nemesis of the Crusaders, or Saddam's one-time mentor, the late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. Cheers from beyond his borders, however, did not pay cash-short Iraq's bills for its industrial buildup, which, rightly or wrongly, Saddam believed the West, with help from OPEC cheaters like Kuwait and the UAE, was determined to thwart.

By inviting foreign observers to watch as 100,000 of his troops massed on the border, he lulled their governments and the Kuwaitis into thinking the mobilization of his millionman army was a bluff. But when Kuwaitis awoke on the morning of August 2, Iraqi soldiers were directing traffic at some intersections, while Kuwait's vastly outnumbered military forces resisted at strong points around the city. Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al Sabah, and his brother, the Crown Prince and prime minister, escaped to Saudi Arabia. A younger brother, Sheikh Fahd Ahmad Al Sabah, was killed defending the government's Basman Palace headquarters, and the fate of Kuwait was no longer in Al Sabah family hands.

Consequences in Kuwait
"Militarily the conquest (of Kuwait) is a fait accompli, leaving the United States, the Soviet Union and Arab nations virtually powerless to reverse it.”

Martin Sieff, Washington Times, Aug. 3, 1990
The Al Sabah family had ruled Kuwait since 1756, when their ancestors were selected to lead a confederation of Anaizah tribesmen forced by famine in the Arabian interior to migrate to the shores of the Gulf. For imperial purposes of their own, the British carved the autonomous Sheikhdom of Kuwait out of the Ottoman Empire in 1899, 17 years before they drove the Turks from the remainder of Iraq during World War I. The Al Sabah family retained Kuwait's independence, strongly contested by Iraq, even after the British pullout in 1961.

Iraq's long-standing claim to Kuwait makes it unlikely that Saddam will withdraw all of his forces, except under duress. Instead he may make token withdrawals while seeking to leave behind a government responsive to his commands.

Although Al Sabah rule has been both liberal and benevolent for the descendents of the original Kuwaiti tribesmen, nearly a million of the 1,700,000 residents of Kuwait are non-Kuwaitis. They hold jobs at the sufferance of the Kuwaiti government, virtually none are granted citizenship and few are permitted to stay in Kuwait after they fnish working there. This rankled the 400,000-strong Palestinian community especially, since many who were born in Kuwait have nowhere else to go. They shed few tears at the Iraqi invasion, nor did their hundreds of thousands of compatriots in Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East. Many might be willing recruits to any new government and army that offered Kuwaiti citizenship to all of its residents.

The Struggle for Saudi Arabia
"If Saddam Hussein can invade or intimidate the Saudis into not bringing their excess capacity to market, then over a three-to-five-year period there will be enough of a shortage on the worm market to substantially drive up oil prices, which is what he is after. Kuwait alone represents only petty theft from Saddam's point of view. His real aim is grand larceny. That is what Saudi Arabian production represents.”

Patrick Clawson, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia, PA, Aug. 3, 1990
The goal of American Gulf policy, since the end of the Nixon doctrine, has been to prevent any one power from gaining control of all of the petroleum in the area. With Iraq astride its own and Kuwaiti oilfields, and Iran uncharacteristically silent, all eyes are focused on Saudi Arabia. The US made it clear that, although it could not prevent the invasion of Kuwait, it is prepared to take military action to thwart an Iraqi drive for the major Saudi oil fields, less than 250 miles down the desert coast from the Kuwait border.

Characteristically, and perhaps realistically, the Saudis seem more concerned about rash American actions than an invasion from Iraq. For the Saudis, the best place for American power is over the horizon and just outside the Gulf, on aircraft carriers of the US Seventh fleet. They would like to be able to call for military help in extremis, but otherwise to deal with Iraq politically.

American pressure on the Saudis to turn the spigot on the pipeline that transports Iraqi oil across the Arabian peninsula limits Saudi political flexibility. Without such help from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, however, US ability to impose an embargo to force Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait by economic rather than military means is limited.

It will take mutual patience, which the Saudis have in abundance, but Bush may not. Israeli Jinn in the American media will taunt Bush daily with the "wimp factor." If he succumbs to their Israel-inspired ridicule, Americans die. A miscalculation could also result in monumental destruction in Kuwaiti, Saudi and Iraqi oil fields. The inconvenience for petroleum-consuming nations of a temporary embargo on Iraq could be turned into a lasting condition.

Ironically, had not Congress, prompted by Israel's American merchants of bad advice, systematically denied the Saudis the defensive arms they, and successive American presidents, have said they needed, the US might not be faced with the problem of possible direct military intervention to save Saudi oil fields. The Saudis could have mounted an effective short-term defense themselves, while awaiting help not just from those carrier-borne American aircraft, but from friendly forces at bases much nearer at hand.

The Military Cost of Israel
"US military operations would cease every place else in the world if we had to support any sizable operation in Kuwait. The effort for directing a ground confrontation would be enormous.”

Pentagon official quoted in The Washington Post, Aug. 3, 1990
Early in the Reagan administration the previously laughable concept of Israel as a "strategic asset" was solemnly accepted by the White House and State Department, although not, to his credit, by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. Now, as the US for the second time in less than five years confronts the difficulties of projecting US military force into the critically important Persian Gulf area, the true strategic cost of Israel again becomes apparent.

Had it not been for persistent attempts by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to project Israel as America's "only reliable ally in the Middle East," the United States would have many others. There are giant air bases near the oil fields in eastern Saudi Arabia capable of handling the kind of aircraft the US would deploy to mount punishing airstrikes on major targets, or to land the tanks, artillery and ammunition needed to stop a hostile armored column on land.

Similarly, in Egypt the bases and some of the facilities are in place. However it is politically impossible for either Saudi Arabia or Egypt to permit even a skeletel permanent US military presence until the United States, by withholding economic and military aid, forces its rebellious Israeli client to withdraw from Palestinian lands it seized in 1967.

"In the past, neither the Kuwaitis nor Saudis have been inclined to allow American bases or forces on their soil," former Energy and Defense Secretary James Schlesinger explained on the day Iraq invaded Kuwait. "I think it would be desirable from a Saudi point of view and an American point of view that there be an American presence.”

It's a desire that will very likely remain unfullfilled, until the desires of Arabs from Morocco to the Gulf are also fulfilled with the establishment of a Palestinian state on Palestinian soil.

The Economic Cost of Israel
"With one swift thrust through Kuwait's rich oil fields, Iraq has shaken the world's economies and could push the USA into its first recession in eight years.”

Mike Memmott, USA Today, Aug. 3, 1990
The 1973 Arab oil embargo was a direct result of US reluctance to make Israel observe the cease-fire it accepted, but then flouted, with Egypt. Though the embargo was political, by creating gas lines in every country the Arabs believed had supported Israel during the fighting, it showed OPEC countries their economic power. The embargo triggered recessions in Europe and the United States at that time, and again later when, for economic reasons, OPEC forced the price of a barrel of oil sky high.

This summer's Iraqi threat to Kuwait raised the price of oil from $16 to $19 a barrel. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait pushed it upward again so that only the optimists believe it will stop at $25. That's enough to tip an already sluggish American economy into recession.

An American-organized embargo of Iraqi oil, if successful and prolonged, would push the worldwide price of oil higher. Sabotage, air strikes or military damage in the oil fields of Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia or of Qatar or the United Arab Emirates would only increase the damage to the economies of developed and developing countries alike. These are steep prices in jobs, trade, and general human welfare to pay for the refusal of past American presidents and Congress to impose upon Israel and the Palestinians a settlement based upon the land-for-peace formula embodied in UN Security Council Resolution 242, to which six presidents have paid lip service but upon which none has based US foreign aid policy.

Potential savings in lives, jobs and resources present a compelling argument, when or even before the dust settles from the current crisis, for the United States to address the Palestinian grievance which underlies so many other problems in the Mideast.

The Historic Perspective
"Iraq's invasion of Kuwait ushers in a new alignment in which Iraqis, Iranians and Palestinian hard-liners appear to share an interest in subduing the oil-rich monarchies of the region...The attack could become a rallying point for those in the Arab world who resent United States influence in world affairs and who feel that some Middle Eastern nations like Egypt have gone too far in accommodating Washington.”

Youssef M. Ibrahim, The New York Times, Aug. 3, 1990
The Middle East rivals who direct the contending tanks and planes did not arise in a vacuum. Their equivalents have existed in the Arab world since the 19th century, as European imperialism gradually superseded its Ottoman Turkish predecessor. Some "modern" Arabs reasoned that a Western presence, whatever its cost in sovereignty and self-respect, was justified by the resulting application of Western science and technology to raising Eastern living standards. Traditionalists, whom we now call "Islamic fundamentalists," argued that the material gains were not worth their moral costs to the Islamic way of life. Still others, vainly seeking economic justice solely through social revolution rather than also through educational reform and technological progress, concluded that all problems were caused by Western-sponsored indigenous elites who were exploiting the Arab masses.

As Western imperialism receded, however, the birth of Israel seemed only to sharpen the battle lines. To "moderate" Arabs, Israel was a last spasm of dying colonialism, to be contained without the disruption of unending war. To fundamentalists, however, it was a cancerous intrusion, gnawing at the very heart of the Islamic world. To radicals, it was renewed evidence of the West's divide-and-rule diplomacy -- demonstrating that there could be no compromise in Arabism's struggle with the West.

This three-way debate over how to deal with Israel, and the exploitation of Arabs it symbolizes, permeates Arab history in the second half of this century. It poisons American relations with every Arab state. Ironically, in the absence of an American colonial role in the Middle East, no Arab state has any grievance with the United States that does not derive directly from its uncritical support for Israeli extremism.

However overdrawn these perceptions may seem to Americans, they are reality for the Arabs, and most non-Arab Muslim nations as well. Until they are recognized and honestly addressed by the US government, Americans will enjoy few lasting friendships, few long-term economic ties, and few diplomatic successes in their dealings with the one-fifth of humanity who are Muslim.

Lancing the Boil
"Iraq's action creates a prime opportunity for US-Soviet collaboration.”

Barry Rubin, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Aug 3, 1990
Old allies in Western Europe and oil-dependent countries in the Far East will not tolerate America's troublesome, one-sided Middle East policy much longer. It costs them too much economically and morally. They do not perceive Israelis as beleaguered people fighting for survival. Instead they see in Likudist Israel an expansionist US client state driven by racism and bigotry to mobilize for unending war with its neighbors.

Coincidentally, the new US-Soviet amity opens the possibility of real change. Despite past fighting by both nations in troubled Middle East waters, Soviets and Americans have worked together successfully in the past to halt Middle Eastern wars before they could spread. There is nothing to prevent them now, with European Community cooperation, from bringing the Middle East parties together at the peace table.

With no Cold War rivalry to spoil it, successful American diplomacy can be built upon unyielding opposition to the intransigents, and consistent support for the moderates: Israelis who will make peace with the Arabs, and Arabs who will make peace with the Israelis. At present, radicals are in power in Israel, just as they are in Iraq. This is due largely to America's one-sided Middle East policy. We expend precious resources to buttress the same malign intolerance in Israel that we expend precious resources to oppose in Libya and Iraq.

Only when the United States becomes even-handed, working on both sides of the Arab-Israeli lines to thwart fundamentalist bigotry and nihilistic radicalism, will moderates again come forward. When they do, America's leaders must put aside partisanship and work to provide the justice for Palestinians and security for Israelis that will finally bring peace to the Middle East.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



A New Look at the World from Tehran (1990)

Killgore, Andrew I. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 8.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218811304?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

(Suppose Americans who understand the Middle East made foreign policy instead of just putting it into effect and then apologizing for it. Or suppose Middle Easterners who knew the outside worm formulated the policies to deal with it. Specifically, suppose an Iranian familiar with the United States, Europe, and Iran's Islamic neighbors were called upon to state his views frankly, and from a safe place. He might say something like this...)
I agreed to address the Iranian Policy Planning Council on condition that I would be abroad if the Foreign Ministry sees fit to have my views leaked to higher authority. Thus I feel free, as an Iranian, to speak with absolute honesty about Tehran's place in the world.

Where are Iran's friends and where are its enemies? I have no answer to the first question. After first the Shah and then our Islamic Revolution, do we have any friends?

There is more to say, however, about our enemies. For two hundred years Britain and Russia exploited us. When their relations with each other were strained, we had a modicum of freedom. When their relations were good, or rather when their interests coincided, as in World War II, when both were fighting Hitler, we lost our freedom entirely.

They threw out our ruler, Reza Shah, in 1941 and used Iran simply as a highway for American war supplies to Stalin. The Russians tried to take more Iranian territory when the war ended, but President Truman made them get out. It was the last good thing, incidentally, that the Americans ever did for Iran.

Where are these old enemies of Iran in 19907 The good news that's overlooked is that they simply are not there. Britain continued to rob us on the price of oil as late as the 1950s and the 1960s. But Britain just doesn't count any more. It is weak and irrelevant as far as Iran is concerned.

Where is Russia today, or the Soviet Union as it has styled itself for the last 70 years? As far as Iran's safety goes, the Russian threat has vanished, probably forever. The basic reason is that the Russians stopped having children and now number only half the population of the Soviet Union. Yes, everybody says their economy failed and that's true. But their main problem is that they just don't have the Russians to hold all those other people together.

The outer edges of the Russian Empire are likely to spin off, including Soviet Azerbaijan. Ironically, Iran may be in a position to take back that area which the Russians took from us early in the last century. But we would be criminally foolish to do so, because Iran's Turkish-speaking Azerbaijan and the Soviet's Turkish-speaking Azerbaijan might then get together to form a separate country. Even if they didn't, that would dangerously intensify existing tensions between Turkish and Farsi speakers inside our country.

I ask again, where are Iran's friends and where are its enemies? Are the Americans our friends? Hardly. For nearly 40 years they have been a baneful influence on Iran, but more about that later. Let's look at ourselves. Are we our own worst enemies?

Our Own Worst Enemies?

Why do we hate the Arabs, for example? Because they defeated Persia in the 7th century? Because we imagine we are superior to them? What did fighting them ever get us? Would the 700,000 Iranians killed in the 1980s still be alive if we hadn't fought Iraq, a war which eventually pitted us against all of the Arabs with the exception of Syria?

Our fundamental error has been to look on the Arabs as enemies. It has allowed the United States and Israel to steer Iran to disaster. Now don't remind me that Iraq attacked Iran in 1980. Absolutely true. But when did the real aggression start?

The truth is that Iran was secretly helping the Kurdish rebellion in Iraq as early as the mid-1960s. Israel worked with us on that. Later the Americans got involved. That was after Henry Kissinger became secretary of state in the early 1970s. And remember Muhammad Reza Shah seized the Arabowned Persian Gulf islands of Abu Musa and The Tunbs in 1971. What should those actions properly be called? The answer is Iranian aggression against the Arabs.

Then in 1972 the Americans started selling the Shah a flood of weapons, eventually mounting to $25 billion. That's when the Shah's ego and ambitions got the best of him. But we should in truth admit that the image of an Iran dominant over the Arabs appealed to our emotions and our egotistical side. This was especially true after President Saddam Hussein, in return for an end to the Kurdish revolt we were fomenting, ceded to Iran in 1975 a half-interest in the control of the Shatt Al-Arab River, Iraq's only outlet to the sea.

It is Iranian pride that has brought us to our present condition. Our country was poor and desperately needed economic development. But the economy took second place to the Shah's arms buildup after 1972. We had deeply offended Iraq by limiting its access to the sea. We betrayed Iraq's Kurds immediately after Iraq relinquished partial control of the Shatt. Our support stopped and the Kurds were crushed by the Iraqi army. We had cynically used the Kurds, and when we needed them no longer, we left them to their unhappy fate.

Iranians were simply too emotional and too egotistical. We have to practice dispassion, until it becomes a part of our very being. We should pattern ourselves on Irish poet William Butler Yeats, whom I grew to love during my university days in America. He actually ranks with our greatest poets, such as Sa'idi, even Ferdosi. Yeats was magnificently emotional and powerful when he sang of Ireland's struggle for independence against England. But when he was old and had the time to think about what he had experienced, his final wisdom became, "Cast a cold eye, on both life and death.”

"A Cold Eye”

It is in that spirit that I return now to the subject of the Americans. Can we trust them? The answer, of course, is absolutely not. In 1953 they ousted our great nationalist leader, Muhammad Mossadeq, who wished only for Iran to control its own oil and rid itself of an incompetent Shah. The United States and Britain were motivated at that time by economic imperialism. They wished to keep the price of Middle East oil low, and the profits of Western oil companies high.

The United States and the oil companies eventually lost to OPEC their control of the price of our off. By that time, however, Israel had gained control of US policy in the Persian Gulf. Both countries pretended to be friends of Iran, but their real goal was to set Persian against Arab, to the benefit of Israel. That they succeeded in doing. America's obvious real interests are to prevent any one country inside or outside the Persian Gulf from dominating the 60 percent of the world's total petroleum reserves that lie here.

That means that the US policy of making the Shah its surrogate in the Gulf, which became unmistakable in 1972, was contrary to America's real interests. In fact, Israeli manipulation was at work.

As long as Israel maintains its demonstrated power to harness American power to achieve Israel's ends, we must continue to cast a cold eye on the Americans. They are too powerful to be irrelevant, but we must be constantly alert to the dangers to our region that stem from their irresponsibility. In the 1990s, this will be easy for Iran, because we no longer need the Americans to counterbalance the Russians.

Arabs Not a Threat to Iran
In pressing for Iranian friendship with the Arabs, I must stress that they constitute no threat to Iran. When Iraq invaded Iran in 1980, it had no support from the other Arabs. They feared Iraq's ambitions if it succeeded in taking and holding Iran's oil fields in Khuzistan. It was only after Iranian forces pushed into Iraq and threatened to take Iraq's great Rumeilah oil fields that the Arabs came to Iraq's aid. The situation, clearly, is that now, as in the past, the other Arabs trust neither Iran nor Iraq.

The moral we must draw from this is that if Iran tries to conquer Iraq, Iran will lose. If Iraq tries to conquer Iran, Iraq will lose.

If, on the other hand, we honestly work together with Iraq and the other Gulf Arabs, we can all ride the rising tide of the giant oil and gas boom that is inevitable later in this decade. This requires making peace with Iraq now.

We can do this by releasing all prisoners of war who wish to be repatriated, making a deal on the Shatt Al-Arab that will satisfy Iraq and motivate it to withdraw its forces to its borders, reducing our military to a sensible size and getting on with developing our country with the revenues from our petroleum.

Whether or not you agree that this would be a true Islamic revolution, it is indisputable that, when we have done all this, for the first time in centuries, Iran would no longer have any external enemies to fear.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Israel's "Hamas Card" Hasn't Split the Intifada

Sosebee, Stephen T. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 12.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784696?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Since the start of the intifada, both Israeli and Arab observers have eyed the growth of Palestinian Islamic groups with great interest, in some cases even exaggerating their influence and popularity for separate political reasons. The Islamic fundamentalist alternative to the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip has seemingly experienced a major setback during the last year, however, as the military trials of suspected leaders and activists of the Islamic Resistance Movement, known as Hamas, continue in Gaza.

The military trial of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, which began on Jan. 4 under heavy security at the Evez Junction in Gaza, near its checkpoint with Israel, has attracted great public scrutiny both in Israel and in occupied Palestine. The 54-year-old Sheikh, who has been confined to a wheelchair since childhood, has been charged with 15 separate offenses.

These include possession of weapons, founding and leading an illegal organization, and ordering the 1989 kidnapping and murder of Avi Sasportas and Ilan Sa'adon, two Israeli solidiers who disappeared separately in April 1989 while hitchhiking near Ashkelon. The discovery of Sasportas' body set off racist anti-Arab riots in the spring of 1989 in Israel, in which two Gazan workers were stoned to death by mobs and dozens of others were injured. Sa'adon's body has yet to be found.

Reversing an Unofficial Policy
The mass arrest of 250 Hamas activists in Gaza and the West Bank following the discovery of Sasportas' body signaled a reversal of unofficial Israeli policy, often referred to in Israel as the "Hamas card." Previously, the occupation authorities pursued an obviously tolerant policy toward the Muslim Brotherhood and its militant Hamas wing in hopes that it would grow strong enough to split the political loyalties of the Palestinian community, which is basically pro-PLO.

In 1973, Sheikh Yassin formed the Islamic Charitable League, which operated health centers, women's literacy classes and kindergartens and also provided assistance for the poor. In 1976, the Islamic Society was formed in Gaza by Khalil Al-Qoqa. Both organizations were affiliated with the Moslem Brotherhood and both stressed raising Islamic consciousness as a means eventually to liberate Palestine, rather than calling for immediate confrontation with the occupation. Both Islamic organizations were approved by the Israeli occupation authorities.

On Jan. 7, 1980, Israeli soldiers sat and watched as 500 men marched from the mosque in Gaza's old city to attack the Red Crescent Society, smash liquor stores, and burn movie theaters along the main street in Gaza City. "Actually, they were opposed to us educating women on health issues they found immoral," explains Dr. Abdel Shaft, head of the Red Crescent Society and a prominent nationalist leader. "Islamic groups have always had the opportunity to demonstrate in Gaza, so long as they demonstrated against us and not against the Israelis." This contrasts, of course, with the hostile treatment accorded by the Israeli army toward other types of group activities by young men in Gaza.

Next, still in the early 1980s, the Israeli authorities turned a blind eye as the Moslem Brotherhood received significant financial assistance from outside, in particular from the Gulf states.

"The fact that Hamas is devoted to the religious destruction of the Jewish state didn't seem to matter much in the minds of Israeli policymakers then," explains Hosam Najji, a professor from Bir Zeit University. "Their motivation clearly was to use Hamas to divide and conquer, both of which goals have so far failed miserably.”

An Excellent Excuse
To Israeli leaders bent on keeping all of Palestine at all costs, an increase in Hamas' popularity would provide them with an excellent excuse for refusing to negotiate peace with the Palestinians, since Hamas articulates an agenda of total liberation rather than a two-sided compromise solution as does the PLO.

"No one calls Shamir intransigent if he refuses to negotiate with an enemy devoted to his total destruction," says Dr. Najji. "The PLO backed the Israelis into a corner while at the same time opening a door for them when Arafat agreed to live in peace with Israel. Instead of accepting negotiations with the PLO, the Israelis have assisted extremist Palestinian organizations bent on their total destruction. It proves Shamir's true motive is land and not peace.”

The stated political agenda of Hamas was put forth in its communique leaflet No. 30, calling for the destruction of the Jewish state and the total liberation of Palestine through religious holy war. Although some day-today cooperation between Hamas and the PLO-affiliated Unified Underground Leadership (UUL) does exist, the differences are tactical as well as ideological. Sometimes separate strike days are called by the two and separate leaflets are issued.

The Israelis, meanwhile, attempted to increase the public exposure of Hamas during the first year of the uprising. In September 1988, for example, Israeli government-run Arabic television aired long interviews with Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and with Sheikh Bassam Jarrar, a West Bank spiritual leader. Nationalist secular leaders have, by contrast, been ignored on Israeli Arabic television, though they represent a considerably larger segment of the population.

This spring Hamas offered to join the Palestine National Council (PNC), in effect the "parliament" of the newly-proclaimed State of Palestine, if the PLO would give it 40 percent of the seats and abandon its recognition of Israel and acceptance of the two-state solution. The PLO so far has responded negatively to this demand.

It is clear that the influence of Hamas and the more nationalist Islamic Jihad has increased significantly during the uprising, especially in the brutal Gaza Strip. The main question is by how much. Strike days called by Hamas are observed nearly everywhere, but this often signifies an attempt to remain unified among the resisting occupied people more than anything else. In some areas, especially the Christian villages and towns around Ramallah and Bethlehem, Hamas is virtually nonexistent. "It is symbolic for us to close on strike days called by Hamas," explains a merchant from Beit Sahour. "The Palestinian people must remain united. When the Christians and Moslems fight, then the Israelis win and the intifada is finished.”

Even in Nablus, where more civilians have been shot dead by the Israeli army than in any other Palestinian city, Hamas is limited in influence. "Everyone remembers the time before the intifada when the fundamentalist groups attacked our nationalist fighters rather than the Israelis," explains Riad, a youth from the Balatta refugee camp. "Now they want to be part of the revolution, but many think it is too late. Basically, for us, it is a forgive-but-don't-forget situation when we work with them here.”

"Hope is Everything”

The situation for Hamas in Gaza is significantly different than in the West Bank, "The people here, especially in the camps, are really desperate," says Ahmed Hassan, a journalist from Rafah. "I mean, after the bus attack in Egypt, the Israeli army sought revenge by shooting over 150 unarmed youths in Rafah camp in just one week. It is only logical that after a while people will support whatever group is most effective at making the enemy suffer as well. So far, the Islamic groups, especially Islamic Jihad, have done that. That is not to say that the PLO is not strong here. I'd say Fatah is the strongest everywhere, even in the camps, but it is a bad situation for the people and the speakers at the mosques are providing at least dim hope. These days hope is everything.”

Two recent elections held in the Gaza Strip give contradictory indications of the comparative strengths of nationalist and Islamic groups. On Jan. 19, the Gaza Medical Association (GMA) held elections for its administrative council. The nationalists won nine of 11 seats, while the Hamas list won one seat and an independent captured another. Since the start of the occupation, Islamic groups have never won more than two seats in GMA elections.

On Jan. 26, the Gaza Engineers Association (GEA) held elections in which Hamas won five of nine seats. Though the Islamists won the majority of seats, the new head of the GEA was a nationalist and the platform of the GEA remained unified behind the PLO. "We in the Association, Islamics and others, adhere to the general trend of Palestinian nationalism," said Akeel Matar, the GEA's new president.

Palestinians from all parts of the spectrum warn against reading too much into the results of these elections. "We can never determine the political affiliation of the Gazans without a free and fair general election," says Dr. Hader Abu Shafi, Red Crescent Society president in Gaza. "And we all know the Israelis are unwilling to have a free and fair general election in Gaza.”

The new president of the GMA was also cautious: "This is a professional election, though one cannot discount totally the political aspect of it.”

So far, the Islamic groups have remained unofficially unified with the PLO groups within the uprising leadership, thus keeping the intifada from splitting apart. For many Hamas activists, however, this is temporary. "The leftists and nationalists are willing to accept nearly any solution from the Jews for a slice of land," says Mohammed, a young Hamas activist from the Breijj Camp. "Israel will eventually dissolve by either its own moral and spiritual sickness or by the blood of its soldiers.”

For now, the mass arrest of Hamas leaders has left it leaderless. Though the trials are not finished, Sheikh Yassin and other main activists will likely face years in prison for their activities. Whatever the Israeli government's policy, the killing of soldiers is not taken lightly. Meanwhile, Hamas is forced to function without its seasoned leaders, a problem it is only now overcoming.

"Islamic groups here need charismatic leaders to be popular," says Dr. Sa'ed Abu Ramadan of the Islamic University in Gaza. "Aside from the basic rhetorical extremism calling for a holy war against Israel, they have no real political agenda for the intifada. Their talk sounds appealing to the oppressed, especially those in the camps, but it tends to divide the uprising and give hope to unrealistic solutions.”

Without question, the feeling on the streets and camps of Palestine is that the PLO represents the vast majority of Palestinians, even though many now express dismay at the "peace process," which so far has done little more than correct the distorted images of the Palestinians in the West. Most observers believe, however, that the longer Israel succeeds in evading substantive dialogue with the PLO, or Palestinians representing it, the stronger alternative Palestinian militant organizations like Hamas will become. The basic question is how long the Palestinian people will support a PLO leadership that has conceded so much, without receiving anything tangible in return.

The fact that the question is seriously discussed indicates to Israeli strategists that their "Hamas Card" may have been worth playing after all. Or, it may be that every day of delay will, in the long run, cost the Israelis dearly. This view was best stated by a young fighter in Nablus who said, "The Israelis don't want peace; they want our land. Has not the blood of a thousand martyrs proved to them that this land is what they will never get?”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The Intifada: After 2 1/2 Years

White, Patrick. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 13.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218811123?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Perhaps it was not the appropriate time to ask him, three weeks after his cousin had been shot dead by an Israeli soldier. We asked all the same, anxious to know what the Palestinians felt after more than 30 months of intense suffering and continuous oppression during the intifada. He was, after all, one of our students, a trusted friend for over six years. He was married now and worked with his family growing grapes and fruit on the terraces of the limestone hills north of Hebron.

He looked across the valley where a large Jewish settlement of red-roofed houses covered the summits of several hills. Israeli commuters and Jewish settlers from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv now lived there on the West Bank opposite his village. There were many new houses under construction. Perhaps these were designated for some of the huge inflow of Russian Jews. As he stared he said in quite a matter-of-fact manner: "There's no future, we are all going to die. We are going to stay but we are going to die." We understood.

"We Are Going to Die”

I stood there with Brother Joe in the warm early summer sunshine looking at the already baked ground. When you love a people and have a high regard for them, it generates a deep sense of distress and helplessness to hear the words, "We are going to die." It was not a death that would come from the normal flow of things. They would die before their time, oppressed and beaten, imprisoned, occupied and garrisoned, disenfranchised, squeezed out economically, driven from their land and despised, with nations of the world looking on with mild disapproval but not willing to act in their defense.

It seemed the entrenched Israelis had no intention of returning what was taken by force, and there remained in the Palestinian mind a sense of fate, of the inevitable that they must stoically face, after the early aspirations of nationhood inspired by the intifada many months ago. They would not give up, but at the same time there seemed to be no clear hope for the immediate future.

With 30 months of the uprising completed, I was trying to listen to the genuine feelings of Palestinians whose judgment I respected and valued. I chatted with a Palestinian woman who was involved in the administration of a nursing school. She was 19 in 1948 and had witnessed the treatment her family received when the Stern Gang forced her mother and father and family at gun point from their lovely home near the Old City of Jerusalem. The family lost further property in 1967 after the Six-Day War.

"You know," she said, when I asked her to compare the intifada in June 1990 with 1948 and 1967, "It's the same, it's the same." She was close to tears. "They are forcing us out bit by bit. Soon we will be put in buses and sent over the river into Jordan. It is not just, it is not fair. And then, the Israelis tell the world their story and the world believes them. What should we do?”

Younger voices only know the experience of the intifada. Frequently, I meet young men whom I knew as students on the campus in 1987. Every week I see them near the university, attempting to continue their courses that were interrupted over two years ago. "Where have you been all that time?" I ask. "I haven't seen you!" They smile and most reply that they have been in prison. George, from Beit Sahour, remained in Ansar 3 for a year and then was arrested again for another six months. He is studying physics again in the off-campus program. Jehad, from Deheishah, three times in prison; Assam the same, pleading that some faculty members advise him on his seminar so he can complete it quickly and finish his degree. He fears he could be arrested again at any time.

A New Strength and Stoicism
These young men look older. What boyhood looks they had when I knew them on campus have disappeared. I detect a certain hardness in them. Maher, from Jericho, bright and articulate, tells me that in the "University of the Desert" (the prisons in the desert became serious places of instruction) they studied politics and followed lessons. There seemed to be a strength and stoicism in his manner and attitude that I had not noticed before. They all realized the seriousness of the situation and did not have any ready answers though they nevertheless appeared determined to struggle on.

I asked younger Palestinian children how they felt after so many months of the uprising. They wrote their spontaneous thoughts in English. One, a boy of 11 years who had just had friends arrested, wrote, "We are the people who want to live in peace. We are proud of the intifada because we have brought the land to the attention of the whole world." An older girl, who is a serious student and 16 years of age, described how the intifada had changed their thoughts and dreams so much that "even I have changed, I'm not the old me anymore." Another simply wrote, "I'm frustrated, angry, tired and uncomfortable. I represent nobody, even myself. I have only a little hope that one day the Palestinians will be free." And another, "Why can't I be free? Why can't I live in peace? What crime did I make? Is it because I am a Palestinian?”

There were stronger feelings. From a young boy, "I hate the Israeli government. I hate the Israeli soliders. I hate what they are doing to us, their way of treating us.”

Many realized acutely that the loss of educational opportunities probably meant that they would never attain their ambitions. "We are not going steadily to school and we are two years behind," an older student wrote. "I want to go to university but I can't because they are closed." In all the notes there was a cry for peace and normality, a fear of "living in terror," a desire to be free and a political awareness that I had not found so strong before the intifada.

A Palestinian professional, a doctor, told me he could survive with his family the stresses and hardships of the intifada for another 15 months. That was a year ago. As I look back, I am amazed the Palestinian people have managed to survive the onslaught aimed at every level of their lives. There came the realization that the intensity of the uprising could not be sustained continuously. The level of activity has fluctuated. Academics are busily plotting graphs demonstrating the peaks and valleys of tolerance and protest. And just as the graphs of the killed, wounded, imprisoned and deported seem to plateau out with periods of less activity, the unpredictable occurs.

Recently, the murder of several Gazan Palestinians by what the papers report was a deranged Israeli, and the subsequent imposition of curfews and the resulting massive protests, particularly in Gaza, sent the casualty graphs to new peaks. The UN hospitals in Gaza were reporting over 1,000 injuries and over 30 killed in several days.

Though many young Palestinians are determined to stay, some student friends of mine, who have graduated, have been in prison, who live in the refugee camps and who were highly politically motivated are now leaving the country. They are saddened, see little hope for the future, have already sacrificed much and now want to get on with their lives, having lost so many years already. Can they be blamed for thinking this way? What do you say to a young woman graduate who spent six years getting her degree under very difficult circumstances and who now sits imprisoned at home for weeks on end in utter despair, unable to find a job? She is one of 12,000 unemployed graduates and one of 100,000 Palestinians without work.

When Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's hard-line right-wing government was voted into power, he spelled out his policy in unequivocal terms. He declared that priority would be given to the Russian Jewish immigration, which included settling Russians in the occupied territories. He went on to say that not an inch of land on the West Bank or in Gaza will be given back, and that the intifada will be crushed. I can only recall, with deep apprehension, the words of the Palestinian woman employed in the administration of a nursing school, "They are forcing us out...it is not just...the Israelis tell the world their story and the world believes them.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Pro-Israel PACs in Action: A Mid-Year Update

Payson, Parker L. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 14.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218792732?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Campaign finance reforms presently under consideration by members of Congress could, in the words of Congressman Jim Leach (R-IA), help pull Congress's head from "the trough of political piggery." Both Democrats and Republicans have placed several such proposals on the negotiating table. But if constituents looked under that table, they might reach a different conclusion.

Who's Minding the Trough?

Special interest groups and political action committees (PACs) are stuffing the pockets of those in charge of drafting campaign finance rules. Campaign reforms adopted, therefore, are unlikely to transform the system from which so many members of Congress benefit.

Savings-and-loan PACs have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to legislators who put together a $400 billion savings-and-loan bail-out plan.

Pro-Israel PACs, which, like the S&L PACs, gang up and work in concert, dumped more money on Congress than did any other special interest group in the 1988 elections. In doing so, they ensured that, in the coming fiscal year, more than one-third of total US foreign aid would go to Israel, and that US foreign policy from North Africa to the Persian Gulf would meet the approval of Israel's Likud government.

From January 1988 to June 30, 1990, 90 percent of the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee facing re-election in 1990, and 75 percent of the members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, have been slopped by the pro-Israel lobby. Some 301 candidates for Congress have taken money from 60 pro-Israel PACs, which to date have raised over $8.5 million and contributed over $2.8 million to candidates for Senate and House seats.

Three senators facing re-election in November, Democrats Carl Levin, Paul Simon and Tom Harkin, have received $542,501, or 31 percent of the money spent by pro-Israel PACs on 1990's 33 senatorial races.

In Michigan, pro-Israel Senate stalwart Levin has received $185,300 in his race against Republican Representative Bill Shuette, a stepson of the chairman of Dow Chemical Company. Pro-Israel analysts say Shuette also has "a good pro-Israel record." He received $5,000 in 1989 from pro-Israel PACs, but the donations stopped abruptly when he announced his intention to run against Levin. The latter, as third-ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been instrumental in passing several US-Israeli joint military projects, and has received a career total of $364,338 from pro-Israel PACs.

Paul Simon (D-IL), who received tremendous support from the pro-Israel community for his successful campaign against former Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Charles Percy (R-IL) in 1984, has, according to pro-Israel partisans, "a 100 percent pro-Israel voting record." Simon, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, has received $180,151 from pro-Israel PACs in his race against Representative Lynn Martin (R-IL), giving him a career total of $498,290 from pro-Israel PACs.

Viewed by many Republican strategists as the most vulnerable Democrat in the Senate, Tom Harkin of Iowa, who sits on the Foreign Operations and Defense subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee, has appealed openly to the pro-Israel community for help.

Pro-Israel PACs have come to his rescue by donating $177,050 to his campaign. Seven of these pro-Israel PACs "maxed out" by spending the legal limit on Harkin, $5,000 for the general election and $5,000 for the primary, even though no one challenged Harkin in the primary this year. All this raised Harkin's career total from pro-Israel PACs to $291,480.

Pro-Israel PACs also played a major part in rounding up contributions from individuals living outside of Iowa, who have contributed over 90 percent of Harkin's $200-and-over donations.

His opponent, Representative Thomas J. Tauke (R-IA), who has not received any donations to date from pro-Israel PACs and has what pro-Israel analysts call a "mixed record on the Middle East," has received less than 18 percent of his comparable contributions from out of state.

The Senatorial Newcomers
While pro-Israel PAC donations through the first six months of 1990 have generally held to the same pattern of giving set in 1989, pro-Israel PAC contributions tO three other senators have more than quadrupled in the last six months. This indicates that the pro-Israel community now judges their campaigns to be more important to its goals than it did last year.

After spending $241,600 in Rhode Island in 1988 in an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Senator John H. Chaffee (R-RI), pro-Israel PACs have gone all out in support of fifth-term incumbent Senator Claiborne Pell (DRI), giving him over $103,350.

Although not a strident supporter of Israel, Pell, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been influential in defusing the growing confrontational tone between the Bush administration and the Israeli government. Prior to Pell's ascendancy to the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, pro-Israel PACs had contributed only a total of $25,000 for all his earlier campaigns.

The second-ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, Senator James Exon (D-NE), has received $37,000 from pro-Israel PACs for his 1990 Senate race. Pro-Israel PAC contributions increased over 97 percent following the announcement that former Republican Representative Hal Daub, who is described by Israel backers as having a "poor record on pro-Israel issues," decided to run against Exon. Exon, who had previously had a "spotty" record with the pro-Israel lobby, has recently made amends by voting the Israeli line on measures designed to restrict dialogue with the PLO.

Third-term Senator J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA), who is expected to win re-election easily, is facing a challenge from Louisiana State Senator David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan organizer and current leader of the National Association for the Advancement of White People. In addition to the $59,300 Johnston has received from pro-Israel PACs, thousands of dollars have been poured into his campaign fund from all over the country by groups and individuals who are afraid that Duke might win 20 percent of the vote and force a run-off.

Johnston, a strong supporter of Israel, would have received the support of the pro-Israel community even in the absence of a campaign by Duke. Morris Amitay, former director of AIPAC and chairman of the pro-Israel Washington PAC told the Washington Jewish Week that:

"The important thing to remember is that since 1982 Johnston has had a perfect record of support on arms sales and foreign aid to Israel...He's on the foreign operations subcommittee and the defense appropriations subcommittee, two key committees as far as Israel is concerned. And he's also chairman of the energy committee, which also has some bearing. So he's an important guy for us, even without David Duke.”

The House of Representatives
Whereas pro-Israel PAC donations in the Senate have focused on six races, pro-Israel contributions in the House have been fairly evenly spread among 228 candidates. The top recipient in the House of Representatives is David Obey (D-WI). And for good reason.

Obey is chairman of the powerful Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees the spending of US foreign aid. A long-time friend of Israel, Obey has recently become more critical, warning that "foot-dragging and obfuscation" in the peace process will cost Israel future US aid.

Rather than take on Obey, who is expected to win re-election easily, pro-Israel PACs have given him $38,300. This, quite possibly, is because they see the 52-year-old Obey as a potential Appropriations Committee chairman. At present, he is the fifth-ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, behind four members in their 70s and 80s.

Little Support for Challengers
Pro-Israel PACs have spent only $208,527 on challengers for the 1990 election cycle. A large portion of this went to Mel Reynolds. He received $38,300 for his unsuccessful primary race against Representative Gus Savage (D-IL), who is one of the few members of Congress who, while facing reelection, called for a cut in aid to Israel.

Jeffrey Hutter received $13,500 for his unsuccessful primary battle against Congressman Romano Mazzoli (D-KY), who was one of only 6 of 335 members of the House of Representatives to vote against cutting off funds to the United Nations if it granted full membership to the PLO.

Although Hutter lost the race, he feels that the pro-Israel PAC contributions were not wasted. Incumbents like Mazzoli "are aware of the support that I've received in support of a strong Israel," Hutter declares, "and his views should change from what he's seen.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Americans Visiting Israel-Palestine: Once Observers, Now Peace Advocates

Levin, Jerry. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 21.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796702?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

A crucial shift is taking place in terms of the character and aim of many of the delegations of Americans, who, troubled by the US government's one-sided approach to the Arab-Israeli issue, have been traveling to the Middle East to see and learn, first hand, what the facts really are. Besides taking an advocacy role back home, they also are beginning to become involved in on-the-scene activism in both Israel and Palestine.

Before the Intifada
Until the beginning of the Palestinian uprising, such visits were mostly fact-finding trips organized by like-minded individuals from the same locality. Their number was very small in comparison to the steady stream of "anti-fact-finding" delegations of secular and religious American tourists who have been traveling to Israel for decades under the auspices of mainstream Jewish and fundamentalist Christian organizations or the Israeli government. Such groups have rarely crossed the Green Line into the occupied territories. They have avoided Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, which are directly involved in the conflict, and Lebanon before the United States government imposed travel restrictions on the country. They also have allowed themselves to be shielded from contact with Palestinians or Israeli peace activists while, at the same time, being exposed to a steady stream of subtle, and not-so-subtle, one-sided expositions of Zionism.

As a result of decreasing US military intervention in Central America, which was occurring at the same time Palestinians began escalating their resistance to Israel's occupation, many of the previously preoccupied and more experienced American secular and religious peace and justice organizations have begun to refocus their attention and shift their energies to the situation in the occupied territories. Since the uprising began two and a half years ago, a trickle of delegations from a wide spectrum of mainstream American religious denominations, Arab-American groups, Jewish-American peace groups, and other organizations devoted specificially to human rights in general, or Palestinian human rights in particular, has turned into a steady stream.

In addition to the delegations organized by Arab-American organizations and Palestinian-American relief groups, American humanitarian organizations such as the Washington, DC-based PAX World Foundation; Portland, OR-based Mercy Corps International; and Santa Cruz, CA-based Mid East Witness (modeled after the Witness for Peace program in Nicaragua) have arranged balanced fact-finding missions. Working in conjunction with Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic secular and religious groups located in Jerusalem, Amman, Cairo and Damascus, they have exposed participants to a cross-section of convictions ranging from those of hard-line Israelis to militant Arabs, in contrast to the one-sided tours still being arranged by "anti-fact-finding" organizers.

Inexorably, many first time fact-finders have found themselves drawn back to the region. Their repeated trips have helped them hone their grasp of the facts and forge links with activists in the region. Last fall, this expanding nucleus of experienced on-the-scene observers and back-home activists became a critical mass that exploded into acts on the ground in Palestine and Israel.

A large-scale effort of this kind was an ad-hoc 100-person American delegation quickly organized last fall to dramatize the plight of the beleaguered tax refuseniks in the tiny Christian Palestinian town of Beit Sahour, best known to tourists as the site of "shepherds' fields" adjoining Bethlehem. They had been under a confiscatory siege by Israeli tax collectors for almost two months. Mercy Corps International's President, Ellsworth Culver, relayed Al-Haq co-founder Jonathan Kuttab's emergency call for help to the Washington, DC-based Roots Relief Fund. It enlisted Tom Martin of the allied Middle East Resources Center to coordinate the project.

The trip was launched in less than two weeks. The delegation linked up in East Jerusalem with about 50 protesters from other nations. Once there, they scheduled a demonstration in Beit Sahour to call world attention to the strangling repression being visited on the town. It was an event they calculated and hoped Israel would find awkward to prevent because of the size of the delegation and the international press corps interest it was bound to draw.

The Beit Sahour Victory
The strategy was correct. As the demonstration was about to take place, the government announced it was ending the siege. A few weeks later, the grateful mayor of Beit Sahour, George Atrash, informed a large audience in Washington, DC that the ad-hoc group's strategy was instrumental in causing the siege to be lifted.

Then, as the year ended, a gathering of several thousand peace activists from around the world flooded into East Jerusalem to demonstrate their solidarity with Palestinians and Israeli human rights and peace activists. There were two separate demonstrations, one made up of women's groups and the other one of which was a ring of thousands of hand-holding Palestinians, Israeli peace activists, and foreign, particularly Italian, supporters circling the Old City, three deep in places. Both demonstrations eventually were broken up with fire hoses and rubber bullet-firing, tear gas-throwing police. The gatherings had been designed to draw the attention of the international press corps, and they did.

Then, late this spring, PAX World Foundation, in conjunction with former Republican Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Charles Percy and 1972 Democratic Party presidential candidate George McGovern, organized a unique and deliberately high-profile, high-visibility, and publicly outspoken peace mission to the Middle East, for which I served as a resource person. It was the first in which participation was contingent upon a concrete demonstration of commitment. Prospective delegates had to "sign on" in advance to a five-point position paper that would be publicized in four capitals the delegation would visit: Amman, Cairo, Damascus and Jerusalem.

A Statement of Commitment
The statement pledged support for an Israeli Arab peace settlement based on 1) United Nations Resolutions 242 and 338, 2) non-violence, 3) security guarantees for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to be created alongside it, 4) direct negotiations with no preconditions which would include the PLO as the legitimate Palestinian representative, and 5) no new settlements in the occupied territories.

Such a mission was a first for even as experienced an advocate as Charles Percy, who told me afterwards, "I consider it one of the most valuable experiences in my life. It was the first time I'd ever gone out there with a position that wasn't supported by the administration.”

A last-minute accident kept George McGovern from making the trip. The delegation, however, also included former Congressman John Anderson, a 1980 Independent presidential candidate; Rabbi Robert Marx of Congregation Hakafa, Glencoe, IL; Diane Porter, deputy for public ministries of the Episcopal Church in the United States; Father John Rogers, Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa, CA; Ramallah-born Jamil Shami, president of Arab American Republicans of Virginia; Barbara Lubin, Executive Director of the Middle East Children's Alliance; Federal Judge Woodrow Seals of Houston; and motion picture actor/producer and human rights activist Mike Farrell.

Reactions to the position paper ranged from rejection by such Israelis as Labor Party leader Shimon Peres and Likud Defense Minister Moshe Arens, to grateful surprise by such Arab leaders as Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad, Jordan's King Hussein and Egyptian Foreign Minister Esmat Abdel-Meguid. The Arab leaders were astonished to be meeting a large group of high-profile Americans who did not necessarily come to put them on the spot, but who instead identified in the strongest terms with Palestinian aspirations for self-determination.

Summing up the experience, John Anderson, like Charles Percy an experienced congressional traveler to the area, said that the trip "made a deep impression on me.”

"It's one thing to sign your name to a statement of principles," Anderson said, adding, "I just didn't really have the kind of appreciation that I have now as to what is happening today over there and why it is happening.”

Like the Beit Sahour campaign and the end-of-the-year event in East Jerusalem, the PAX World Foundation "Mission for a Just Solution in the Middle East" was a success. Aided by newspaper, television and radio coverage of the Mission's news conferences and side-bar interviews with several members of the delegation in each of the nations visited, including Israel, there was a discernible degree of internal impact.

Clearly, this new level of activism is a constructive weapon in the struggle that must be encouraged and further promoted.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Cartoons ("Old" Secretary Baker waiting for peace call)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Journalist Farzad Bazoft: Swept Away on a Rising Tide of Mistrust

Barrett, Mary. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 22.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218780742?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Just a year ago, on Sept. 7, 1989, a group of journalists from around the world assembled in Baghdad. It was a year after the cease-fire in the Gulf War, and we had come as guests of the government of Iraq to observe the Kurdish elections in the Autonomous Region of the north.

Compelling as were issues of Kurdish-Iraqi relations, however, it was an article just published in the (London) Independent which was to rivet our attention. Its appearance would ultimately lead to the execution of one young reporter, Farzad Bazoft, representing a rival British newspaper. His death, in turn, would illuminate dramatic changes in the Middle East equation.

The Independent described a disaster at a secret Iraqi military complex near the city of Al-Hillah, adjacent to the site of ancient Babylon, on the 17th of August, 1989. The newspaper claimed that Egyptian military engineers had been modifying Soviet-supplied Scud-B missiles, using a technique which doubled their normal 280-mile range and made it possible for Iraq to deliver nuclear, biological or chemical warheads to Tehran, Damascus or Tel Aviv.

As a warhead was being dismantled, the report claimed, it blew up. That explosion detonated the entire stockpile and, in escalating catastrophe, a huge storage dump of poison gas. Only moments apart, two gigantic explosions killed 700 people, including a number of Egyptians, and rattled Baghdad, 40 miles to the north.

The report claimed that when Egyptian transport planes landed at nearby Al-Mazha air base, the public was warned to keep clear because the evacuees carried a "highly infectious disease." Casualties were treated at Cairo's Maadi Military Hospital, which was closed to normal use, the Independent continued, and specialists were flown in from East Germany. The toxic holocaust, the paper claimed, was fought from the air and raged for a week.

The Official Version
A curt response to the article was issued by the Iraqi Embassy in London and printed in the Sept. 8 English-language Baghdad Observer. It explained that there had been a fire in "petroleum materials" in a depot south of Baghdad. As it was being fought, a truck loaded with explosives, on its way to a construction project, passed by and blew up. Nineteen Iraqis died and the fire was out in hours.

It was a very different story. The Iraqi Embasy went further, however. It stated that the Independent's article was intended to incite "British public opinion against Iraq." Although it was yet to be alleged that Great Britain and Israel were prime suspects in the catastrophe, it was clear that this was a very bad time for a British reporter to engage in aggressive journalism.

We foreign journalists visiting Iraq saw it as a breaking story, however, and many of us, including Bazoft, applied to our hosts at the Iraqi Ministry of Information for facts and access. We were told that, as far as the Ministry was concerned, the story was a fabrication. Inquiries among residents of Iraq, however, indicated that although the death toll probably did not exceed 200, the incident very likely involved more than just a passing truck.

Farzad Bazoft
Farzad Bazoft, a stateless Iranian traveling on British papers, was a highly visible member of our group. I sat next to him during an official bus tour through the war-ravaged Fao Peninsula on Monday, the 11th of September.

Bazoft was outgoing and cheerful. This was his sixth visit to Iraq as a guest of the government. He anticipated various sites of interest, alerting me that this or that was just ahead. I bounced from side to side, photographing the most remarkable devastation I had ever seen. With the representative of the Ministry of Information deep in his own thoughts at the front of the bus, Bazoft was the unofficial tour guide.

Free-lancing for the (London) Observer, the 31-year-old Bazoft was out for a scoop that would dwarf the Independent's story. Unfortunately, his approach seemed to be more one of youthful high jinks than reasoned inquiry.

The day after our trip to the Fao Peninsula, Daphne Parish, an English nurse who worked in a Baghdad hospital, drove Bazoft to Hillah for the second time. They never got past the perimeter fence at the secret installation, however. His disguise as an Indian doctor and unlikely claim that he had come to attend victims of the three-week-old accident must have been viewed by guards as silly.

Developed later by the Iraqi government, his snapshots, at the end of a roll begun in London, revealed only roadside views. That evening, at the Palestine Meridian Hotel, he showed off bits of trash he had picked up as possible clues. The same Tuesday evening, in the lobby, a troubled Iraqi government official told him his unauthorized jaunt had been observed.

By Friday, only a handful of foreign journalists remained in Baghdad. Early in the morning of the 15th, we gathered outside the Meridian for a second trip to Kurdistan to see the resettlement town of New Halabja. Bazoft had planned to go along, but instead he rushed out of the hotel, pale and nervous. Throwing his luggage into a government car, he headed for the airport. The night before, his friends had told him it was time to go. But it was too late. When we returned that evening, we learned he had not made the plane.

After languishing in jail for nearly six months, he was tried and convicted of espionage against Iraq on behalf of Israel and England. At the trial, it was brought out that he had a police record in England, including a conviction for armed robbery of a bank. Despite, or perhaps because of, strenuous protests by the British government and press, within three days of his conviction he was hanged, on March 15th, by the same government that had bought his round-trip ticket and paid his hotel bill.

Daphne Parish, the nurse who drove Bazoft to Hillah and who was jailed at the same time he was, was released and expelled from Iraq in July. More cautious journalistic efforts have since confirmed some facts about an explosion at Hillah. In contradiction to the Independent's claim, Iraq's new ballistic missiles apparently were developed not at Hillah, but at a complex in Taji and at other sites north and west of Baghdad. In fact, Al-Qa'qa', the government-owned facility at Hillah, is currently being described by journalists as a conventional munitions factory.

The British Connection
So why was Bazoft's amateur sleuthing considered worthy of anything more than a reprimand? He uncovered no military secrets. In fact, if the Iraqi government had taken the entire group of visiting foreign journalists on a walking tour of all the secret facilities in the country, we could have revealed little not already known about the Iraqi war machine. Our cameras might have focused, however, on the British equipment with which the factories were furnished, revealing the remarkable degree to which Britain was a source of Iraqi technology.

Although the British government bans the sale abroad of lethal military equipment, it has long looked the other way when it comes to exporting the wherewithall to produce it. According to Alan George of the Observer, Al-Qa'qa' establishment at Hillah was entirely equipped by the British machine-tool company Colchester Lathes, which, George wrote, "is far from being the only British company connected with the multi-billion-pound Western arms trade with Iraq.”

Another huge English company that arranges international deals with British industry is the London-based TDG, which in 1987 purchased 92 percent of Coventry's TI Machine Tools and changed its name to Matrix-Churchill. Its main customer became the government of Iraq.

A Risky Intimacy
It was this intimacy with outsiders that put Iraqi installations at risk. According to Observer political correspondent Helga Graham, "Foreign companies have supplied and helped to maintain several secret plants in Iraq, including Al-Qa'qa', and a detailed plan of the site was apparently leaked through these companies to British intelligence...

"The Baghdad commission investigating the [Hillah] explosion blamed it on Israeli intelligence helped by British information and carried out by Eqyptian workers.”

In September, Iraqi journalists had privately suggested that the explosion at Hillah was the most successful of several incidents of sabotage staged by Saddam Hussein's underground Islamic fundamentalist opposition. Israel's dual advantage in facilitating the strike, if indeed it did, was pointed up by its subsequent receipt of secret oil shipments from Iran.

Although feeling foreign diplomatic pressure to reduce its support of Hussein, the UK did not want to jeopardize its economic relationship with Iraq, which last year netted Britain 450 million pounds. On the other hand, it could not let it appear that its foreign policy was dictated by its own military/industrial establishment. These evolving imperatives first brought the British government into conflict with private British-Iraqi business interests several months after the cease-fire in the eight-year Gulf war.

At that time, TDG joined with a Belgian company, which had Iraqi links, to build the Learfan aircraft at a site acquired in Belfast. The British Foreign Office apparently decided, however, that the technology used in the Learfan could be transferred to Iraq's (eventually successful) 1,000-mile Condor-2 missile project. The Foreign Office, in an unprecedented action, intervened to prevent TDG from receiving an already-approved loan from the Northern Ireland British Development Board. This forced TDG to give up the project and sell the property.

New Betrayals?

This may have appeared to Iraq's president as the beginning of a new round of betrayals. Against this background, British involvement in sabotage at the Hillah facility would not have seemed out of the question to Iraq's strongman president. Perhaps he thought Bazoft's mission was to report back to Israel on the success of the operation.

In this real or fancied wilderness of betrayals, Bazoft was an easy fly to swat. In doing so, however, Hussein accelerated the tumultuous changes in British-Iraqi dynamics.

On March 28, a US Customs/NBC television sting operation, culminating at Heathrow airport, resulted in the confiscation of 20 US-made multi-purpose electronic capacitors on their way to Iraq. US statements identified the cargo as "nuclear triggers" and condemned Iraq for placing the order.

While the British press, in its futile race to save Bazoft, gnawed away at the British private sector connections with the Iraqi government, the Baghdad commission investigating the Hillah disaster was building a case for a UK-Mossad connection. The series of events could only have reminded Saddam Hussein of the 1950s, when the Mossad, Israel's equivalent of the CIA, targeted for assassination over a dozen of the world's top nuclear physicists working in Egypt. More recently, in 1980, a brilliant Egyptian scientist, Yahia Meshad, working in the Iraqi nuclear program, was assassinated by the Mossad in Paris. And Iraq's president could hardly forget the Israeli bombing of an Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak.

When, on March 22 of this year, Gerald Bull, a Canadian and American dual national ballistic weapons genius who was apparently involved in Iraq's successful testing last December of the 1,200-mile Tamouz missile, was assassinated in his Brussels hotel, his son said Bull knew he was being stalked by the Mossad. It was Bull who had purchased the Learfan building in Belfast in his joint venture with TDG.

On April 4, eight pieces of pipe 16 feet long and 39 inches wide, cast and machined by the British company Sheffield Forgemasters, were seized at dockside as they were about to leave for Iraq. The British government said they were slices of a 130-foot "giant" gun. Part of a larger order, most of which had already been delivered, they might never have been noticed had Gerald Bull not been the man whose company arranged for their manufacture.

In the cascade of deteriorating British-Iraqi relations in which Bazoft was swept away, one new reality appears. While still far behind Israel technologically, Iraq has achieved a deterrent capability equal at the bargaining table to Israel's destructive capacity. It could bring to the region a stability unseen since the establishment of Israel and its development into a nuclear and military superpower. Iraq's new position of strength may achieve what the US never could -- it may make Israel sit down and talk.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Congress Sets September Schedule

Wamsted, Dennis J. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 23.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218811052?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

As Congress returns from its month-long August recess, it will set its sights on an early October adjournment. However, before they can pack their bags again, members of the House and Senate must finish work on a number of major bills, with at least two having important ramifications for US Mideast policy.

Foreign Aid, Finally
Despite early indications that Congress might reduce Israel's aid allocation for the 1991 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 1990, it now appears likely that, once again, Congress will bow to the wishes of the pro-Israel lobby, orchestrated by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and approve the now seemingly standard $3 billion for the Jewish state. Indeed, during consideration of its foreign aid bill this summer, the House specifically exempted Israel, and peace partner Egypt, from a 2-percent cut it levied on virtually the entire program.

As a result, Israel will now receive an even higher percentage of the overall US foreign aid budget than it did in fiscal 1990. While Israel received just over 30 percent of the funds appropriated for the Economic Support Fund (ESF) in fiscal 1990 ($1.2 billion out of approximately $3.95 billion), the House-backed measure for fiscal 1991 would earmark almost 35 percent of economic aid funds for Israel ($1.2 billion out of roughly $3.4 billion). Similarly, the House measure calls for $1.8 billion in military aid for Israel, or 39 percent of the funds in the Foreign Military Financing program.

The House therefore earmarked more than 37 percent of the country's two major bilateral foreign aid accounts for Israel, some $3 billion out of the roughly $8 billion in the ESF and FMF programs. This is an increase from slightly under 35 percent in fiscal 1990.

Obey's Warning
Still, there are hints that Israel's formerly invincible support on Capitol Hill is gradually eroding. During the debate on the House floor, Rep. David Obey (D-WI), chairman of the Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee that establishes funding levels for the US aid program, warned Israel that, while no changes were planned for this year, its assistance was not sacrosanct.

"The American government's position has always been that we support the principle of trading land for peace, provided that the security arrangements are sound," Obey said, explaining his panel's actions. "I think we have a right to expect cooperation and candor, not foot-dragging and obfuscation, on the part of any Israeli government when it comes to the peace process.”

One of the few congressmen willing to question Israeli policies publicly, Obey also warned Israel about further Jewish settlement activity in the occupied territories.

"US policy has always been that settlements in the West Bank and in Gaza are inadvisable and...an impediment to peace," Obey said. "I simply want to express a very friendly warning to the Israeli government. I want to make clear that Israel will always be able to count on this Congress to defend her security. But I want to make quite clear, if Israel expands their settlements in any way, or if they add a single new settlement, I will make a flat commitment right now that I will support any request made by the administration to reduce aid to Israel in next year's bill to reflect the cost of that expansion.”

General Provisions
In addition to the $3 billion earmarked for Israel in ESF and FMF accounts, the House bill includes a number of other provisions that will benefit the Jewish state. Among these are:

- $12 million in the ESF account for programs in the West Bank and Gaza;
- $45 million in migration assistance for "Soviet, European and other refugees resettling in Israel";
- allowing Israel to spend at least $475 million of its military assistance in Israel on defense articles or research and development (traditionally, US military aid must be used to purchase American goods); and
- $7 million to boost Middle East regional cooperation, primarily between Israel and Egypt, and fund Israeli-Arab scholarships.

Beyond Israel, the House measure earmarks $2.115 billion in economic and military aid for Egypt, with $1.3 billion set aside in the FMF program and $815 million in the ESF account. This means that aid to Israel, and aid to Egypt for keeping the peace with Israel, will, in fiscal year 1991, total an incredible 64 percent of US bilateral foreign aid worldwide.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Representative Nick J. Rahall II

Moses, George. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 24.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796868?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Congressmen willing to risk speaking out on behalf of better relations between the United States and the Arab world have always been in very short supply. Among them, however, is Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, one of only three incumbent congressmen of Arab heritage. A Democrat, he represents the fourth congressional district of West Virginia and serves on the House Committees on Public Works and Transportation, Education and Labor, and Interior and Insular Affairs, where he chairs the subcommittee on Mining and Natural Resources.

His grandfather, Nicholas Rahall, emigrated to Charleston, WV from Kefeir, Lebanon (then Syria) in 1903. Like so many other Arab immigrants, the senior Rahall began life in the new world as a door-to-door pack peddler. Again, like so many of his compatriots, he quickly became successful, creating a merchandising and broadcasting empire which was the envy of his time. It launched his family to a prominence it still enjoys in West Virginia.

A Natural Interest in Politics
Congressman Rahall was born in Berkley, WV on May 20, 1949. His interest in politics, a natural outgrowth of his family's deep involvement in the Democratic Pary, appeared early, when he was only 15. He became active in Young Democrats, first during the 1964 presidential campaign of Lyndon Johnson, and again while he was a student at Duke University, during the 1968 campaign of Hubert Humphrey. Despite the turbulence of political life in those Vietnam years, it was apparent to the young Nick Rahall that he had found his calling.

After attending graduate school at George Washington University in Washington, DC, he served as an assistant to Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia until 1974. He then returned to West Virginia, working for a time in the family enterprise. In 1976, he was elected at the age of 27 to the House of Representatives, becoming at that time its youngest member. Congressman Rahall is now the longest-serving sitting congressmen from West Virginia.

In his 14 years in Congress, Rahall has concentrated heavily on the needs of his constituents. He counts as his proudest legislative achievement a bill signed into law in late 1988 giving federal protection to a number of rivers in southern West Virginia. This bill, in effect, was an extension of his earlier success in winning national protected status for the New River, also in his district. These two laws taken together give Rahall's district the largest federally-protected river system east of the Mississippi.

These successes serve two objectives. First, there is the obvious effect of preserving and, in some cases, restoring an invaluable national heritage of natural beauty. At the same time, this natural resource has become a boon to an economically depressed area by creating a thriving recreational and tourist industry based upon fishing, boating, white-water rafting and other outdoor activities. The economic effect has been a huge boost in West Virginia tax revenues and, more important, the creation of cleaner, safer jobs for local residents, to replace those lost in the shrinking mining economy.

Putting Government to Work
Rahall still counts as the most satisfying part of his job his ability to help people from his area. He takes particular pleasure in helping individuals cut through bureaucratic obstacles to put the government to work for them the way he and they think it should.

Quite aside from all of this large-scale economic and environmental achievement, Rahall has shouldered another difficult and often thankless task. He has established himself as a spokesman for better relations between the US and the Arab world. He does it, he says, for two reasons.

One is ethnic pride. From his own heritage, Rahall knows that the vilification of the Arab world so often found in public discussion in the US is simply not accurate.

The other, equally important reason is his deeply held conviction that anti-Arab policies are not in the best interests of the US. For that reason, Rahall feels compelled to use his position to correct harmful trends in US policy.

Those trends include a failure to deal effectively with the Palestinian issue. This leaves the US vulnerable to a charge of complicity in the Israeli repression of Palestinian human rights and national aspirations. Rahall also notes a disturbing tendency to seek out a devil in the Middle East on which to blame difficulties and delays in resolving complex issues.

An Encouraging Development
Although he sees little chance for immediate change in US policy, he is encouraged by an interesting development. More and more of his colleagues in the House, knowing of his interest in the Middle East, are seeking him out to discuss the issues privately. Rahall interprets this as a clear indication that the issue is growing in the public consciousness, and could be "on the verge" of becoming an electoral, as opposed to a policy, issue.

On the question of Lebanon, Rahall probably has expended as much time as any other member of Congress, including members of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He continues to press for the deepest possible American involvement in the resolution of that situation. He went to Lebanon late last year to meet with the contending parties, an undertaking not without risks. He believes that there is a basis for a settlement between the parties when the will exists to reach a settlement. While he does not think America should lessen its involvement in any way, he does believe that every possible useful effort to be of assistance to the Lebanese has been made.

Although Rahall has always been outspoken on Middle East issues, there is little public evidence that he has brought down the electoral wrath of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which lobbies for Israel in the United States. He has a number of explanations for this.

First, he tends to the business of representing his district. He has a strong base of support as a result of his efforts to meet local needs, and that pays off politically. Rahall says he knows that AIPAC has occasionally called from Washington to some of his constituents to try to recruit them for efforts against him. Since Rahall has worked with many of these same constituents on their immediate concerns, the response is that he has been a good congressman for the fourth district of West Virginia, and that AIPAC should leave him alone.

Second, Rahall is not anti-Israel. While an outspoken advocate of Palestinian rights, he has not been antagonistic to Israel's basic interests, and that fact is well known. He has been an advocate of peaceful settlement with justice for all the parties, and he thinks that position is gaining more and more adherents as time goes by.

Third, US-Israel relations are not a major issue in his district. Those working on meeting housing needs and like problems, however, are aware that money flows to Israel for such things far more readily than it flows to West Virginia. Rahall says this knowledge only reinforces support for his own positions on US relations with the Mideast.

Rahall has hope for the future. He believes that public sentiment in America may be catching up to the realities in the Middle East, and that will be good for the long-range interests of all concerned Americans, Arabs and Israelis. For his part, he will continue to do the work he has chosen -- making sure that government works as it should for all Americans by seeing that it does for the people of West Virginia.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (Nick J. Rahall, II)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Why Palestinians Object to Soviet Jewish Immigration to Israel

Osmail, Noha. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 27.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784650?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

As a result of perestroika, we have witnessed the effects of a major change in the Soviet Union's emigration policy, allowing Soviet Jews to leave their country in record numbers. A recent report in The Wall Street Journal indicates that over one million people have requested exit visas so far.

In the past, 80 percent of all Soviet Jews who obtained visas to immigrate to Israel ended up in the US. But on Oct. 1, 1989, the Bush administration placed an annual quota of 40,000 on visas for Soviet immigrants, meaning that the doors of the US were closed to hundreds and thousands of Jews seeking refuge. As an executive board member of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), I traveled to the Soviet Union May 11 to 21 to meet with Soviet Jews. We visited the Central Synagogue in Moscow and met with Jewish groups there and in Kiev. We also paid our respects to the Jewish victims of Nazi executions at Babi Yar. Everywhere we tried to build a constructive dialogue with each other.

America's Moral Obligation
In our meetings, Soviet Jews voiced indignation at President Bush's decision to restrict them from entering the US. They felt that the American government, one of the strongest proponents of Soviet Jewish emigration for over a decade, had the moral obligation to admit them.

A lot has been written in the Western media about the threat of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, but the truth is that all other minorities there have the same problems. The whole society is confronting the danger of having to deal with a cross-current of nationalism that has stirred up the old rivalries. Jews, like everyone, are worried about the political uncertainities.

Dr. Tankred Golenpolsky, editor of a well-known Jewish newspaper, told us that anti-Semitism does not constitute a clear and present danger in the Soviet Union at this time. He said he has not heard of a single incident in which people were harassed or beaten up because they were Jews. There have been no Kristallnachts, to be sure. Yet Jews all know that it is there and are afraid of what may come in the future. They are fearful of a democratized Soviet Union even though they all concede that glastnost has been responsible for a revival of Jewish culture and religious expression.

The synagogue in Moscow today is a focal point for Jews to worship, socialize and steep their children in an ancient culture that flourished for hundreds of years. Young Jews, some of whom only recently discovered an identity hidden from them by their parents, are actively trying to revive a rich heritage all but snuffed out by the Nazis and later by Stalin. Rabbi Shlomo Shteingart, of the Central Synagogue in Moscow, told us that it would be tragic for the Soviet Jews if, after surviving all the horrors of Stalin, the Jews of Russia were to be chased out by democracy.

Israeli Envoys Encourage Emigration
And yet, the call for them to get out is loud and clear. Almost every week, Israel sends envoys to Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev urging Jews to leave and offering to pay for their airlift to Israel. They are promised jobs and housing, even though the unemployment rate in Israel today is 10 percent and the housing shortage is severe. They are told there are no serious problems between Israelis and Arabs and that everything they read in the Soviet press about an uprising in the West Bank and Gaza is propaganda. They are led to believe that the Israeli government only has to deal with a few minor border disputes. We were shocked at how naive and uninformed these Soviet Jews all were.

And why is Israel doing all of this? Because, like Ireland and South Africa, Israel is one of those unhappy places where demography is a weapon as well as a science. According to a forecast by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, at the current birth rate Arabs would constitute a majority of the population by 2020. This is the so-called "demographic bomb." It should lend weight to the argument for Israel to pull back to its pre-1967 boundaries -- the cornerstone of the trading-land-for-peace movement. Israelis who want to hang on to the occupied territories, however, see the Russian arrivals as a means to defuse the demographic bomb, thereby effectively neutralizing the call of Israeli doves to come to terms with the subjugated Palestinians.

Facts in Israel are supporting our worst fears. The Likud government is speeding up the building of settlements in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza in spite of repeated objections by the US and the international community. Israel has a system of tax and mortgage credits which makes it beneficial for any Israeli to buy housing and settle in the occupied territories. Finally, we have all heard Prime Minister Shamir tell his Likud Party that," Big immigration requires Israel to be big as well...We need the space to house all of the people." We know exactly what he means. He has no intention of ever giving up the occupied territories.

Not "If" But "Where”

We are not asking the Soviet Union to close the doors of emigration to any of its citizens. Our argument is that, according to the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, neither Soviet Jews nor other Israelis can live on Arab land occupied by the Israeli military since 1967. One people's human right to leave their country does not give them the right to displace another people who wish to remain in theirs.

We also object to the manner in which Israeli envoys aggressivly recruit immigrants. We firmly believe that Soviet Jews should be permitted to make their own decisions about leaving the Soviet Union without constant pressure from the outside. It is our view that the worst form of anti-Semitism is to use the Russian immigrants as a means to further the right wing, political aspirations of the Likud government in Israel.

Finally, the political ramifications of this mass immigration can be horrendous. The cornerstone of the Middle East peace plan is the two-state solution. The Palestinians have agreed to recognize Israel in return for a chance to have their own independent State in the West Bank and Gaza. They have settled for only 20 percent of what used to be their homeland. Now this dream of genuine self-determination is being jeopardized by the prospect of more Jewish settlements and a de facto Judaization of even that 20 percent of land.

The pressure is already mounting and it threatens to subvert the peace process. At this delicate juncture, neither the Jews nor the Palestinians have anything to gain by allowing this to happen. The time to avert another Middle East war is now. I doubt that history will provide another chance.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Israel: America's unreliable Ally

Holden, Kurt. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 28.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796815?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

After a half-century of Israeli deception, the best-informed Americans are likely to be the most misinformed about the Middle East. It's the result of continuous exposure to what anti-Zionist writer Alfred Lilienthal calls "mythinformation" in the US media.

Although there is a clearly discernible increase in American skepticism regarding motives of the current Israeli government, and public opinion polls record a reassessment of views about the Palestinians and increasingly positive views by Americans of such friendly Arab states as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, many of the old and misleading cliches still roll easily off the tongues of American politicians and pundits.

Below are some recent "mythstatements" by politicians to their constituents, journalists to their readers, and in letters or advertisements published in the mainstream American media. What the editors who faithfully recorded these myths in recent weeks neglected to do, however, was to include in their publications corrective information of the kind also presented below.

The "Strong Ally”

MYTH: "The nation of Israel has been a stable, reliable and strong ally...Given this relationship, it's imperative for the United States to continue providing Israel with...military and economic support.”

-- Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder in speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, June 11, 1990
FACTS: Officials of the state of Israel have repeatedly deceived, spied upon, and stolen from the US government. Random examples include the 1954 firebombing by Israeli military intelligence agents of American diplomatic establishments in Cairo and Alexandria in an attempt to create a rift between the US and Egypt (the Lavon Affair); the theft over a long period in the 1960s by an Israeli-American dual national with US top secret clearance of nuclear fusion materials from a plant in Apollo, PA for shipment to Israel; the theft in the 1980s of thousands of highly classified documents by American-born US Navy counter-intelligence specialist Jonathan Jay Pollard, who, while serving his life sentence in US federal prison after being caught, is being paid double his normal salary as a colonel in Israeli intelligence; the sale by Israeli officials of weapons and supplies and the provision of training in their use to governments and groups hostile to the United States, such as the Mengistu government in Ethiopia, the Islamic revolutionary regime in Iran, and the Medellin drug cartel in Colombia; and the continuing refusal by the Israeli government to extradite former Jewish Defense League terrorist Robert Manning, wanted in California on charges of carrying out a murder-for-hire bombing on behalf of a fellow Jewish Defense League member, and for questioning in connection with the bomb assassination of Alex Odeh, Southern California director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

"Israel Knows Best”

MYTH: "Who is best able to decide such security questions as territorial concessions, a two-state solution and Israeli negotiations with the PLO? Answer: The Israeli citizens through their democratic system. Their lives are on the line, they know the local situation and the people involved better than anyone.”

-- Leo Samet, vice president, Washington Chapter, Americans for a Safe Israel, in letter to Washington Jewish Week, April 5, 1990
FACTS: Although variations on this statement are used repeatedly by officials of hardline US Jewish organizations to silence American Jewish critics of the right-wing extremist Likud government of Israel, polls show that Israeli Jews, like American Jews, are about evenly divided on the questions of trading land for peace, mutual recognition by Israeli and Palestinian states, and Israeli negotiations with the PLO.

Israelis opposed to Likud policies are highly critical of the support for them by mainstream US Jewish organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, B'nai B'rith's Anti-Defamation League, and the Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Many of these Israeli critics go further and point out that it is persistent pressure by these US Jewish organizations on Congress that produces the no-strings US government aid that has funded the very Likud extremism opposed by so many Israelis.

The argument that only Israeli Jews can discuss war and peace in the Middle East therefore has no validity as a rationale for suppressing questioning of Israeli policies by American Jewish groups or individuals.

"Israel Wants Negotiations”

MYTH: "In my opinion, it is crucial that Israeli and Arab officials meet together to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the crisis. The Israelis have repeatedly expressed an interest in doing so, yet no Arab delegation seems willing to accept these overtures for peace." -- Rep. Wally Herger (D-CA) in letter to constituent Jerri R. Ison, Chico, CA, June 25, 1990
FACTS: After the Israeli government informed the US administration that it would not meet with the PLO to negotiate peace, and enforced an Israeli law making it illegal even for private Israeli citizens to meet with PLO officials, the Bush administration agreed in principle to a plan advanced by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to pick alternate Palestinian leaders for peace negotiations with the Israeli government.

When, however, at US and Egyptian urging, Yasser Arafat indicated that the PLO would not oppose such direct peace negotiations between Israeli officials and mutually-agreed-upon, unaffiliated Palestinian representatives, the Shamir government dropped the plan. Congressman Herger's statement, therefore, totally ignores the realities laid out in testimony by Secretary of State James Baker III this June to Congress.

"A Commitment to Human Rights”

MYTH: "[Israel] shares with the Western democracies a fundamental commitment to human rights. If any individual acts of human rights violations occur, they are swiftly prosecuted and punished.”

-- From a paid advertisment placed by Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME) in NY Times of July 17, 1990
FACTS: The US State Department, in its 1990 human rights report, said that "the human rights situation in the occupied territories remains a source of deep concern to the United States." Regarding human rights abuses by Israeli authorities, the State Department noted that "reports continue of harsh and demeaning treatment of prisoners and detainees, as well as allegations of beatings of suspects and detainees...At least 10 deaths can be attributed to beatings.”

Regarding punishment of the perpetrators, the State Department reported further that "violations" of Israeli guidelines on the use of force "have resulted in death and injuries," with "only a relatively small number of such incidents (resulting) in prosecution (and) the sentences meted out have tended to be light.”

As such Middle East facts become better known in the United States of 1990, perhaps citizens will find it easier to confound the leaders, lobbyists and liars still purveying such Middle East myths.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Abdeen Jabara

McMahon, Janet. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 29.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784456?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Abdeen Jabara is an activist and an optimist -- the former by choice, the latter by temperament and necessity: "You can't be in this work if you're not an optimist.”

From 1986 until he resigned his position last month, Jabara was president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which this year celebrated its 10th anniversary. The ADC was founded in 1980 by former South Dakota Senator James Abourezk, who was infuriated by the Abscare operation, in which the defamation and stereotyping of Arabs was used as a tool by the federal government to snare unethical members of Congress. Since then, ADC has achieved an impressive record of success in combating negative stereotyping of Arabs and Arab-Americans.

Born and educated in Michigan, Jabara completed law school at Detroit's Wayne State University, then went to Lebanon to study Arabic. After working for the Palestine Research Center in Beirut and traveling extensively in North Africa and the Middle East, he returned to Detroit and established a law practice specializing in civil rights cases, particularly those involving police surveillance against Arab Americans and others. Ironically, he himself was the subject of such surveillance by the FBI, which he successfully sued for invasion of privacy in 1972, winning an acknowledgement that, far from being a "cadre member of Al Fatah," Jabara had done nothing illegal save exercise his constitutional rights.

He was also a founder and president of American-Arab University Graduates (AAUG), and a board member of the local National Lawyers Guild and American Civil Liberties Union chapters. His work in Detroit, Jabara believes, was good preparation for leading a national organization based in Washington. A member of ADC's board of directors since the organization's inception, he will continue to be active in that capacity.

The Sheikh or the Terrorist
Jabara opened his Detroit law practice at the time of the Six-Day War of June 1967. He wryly describes the historical image of Arabs in the West as "not particularly salutary," with the oil-rich sheikh or the heartless, bloodthirsty terrorist as the two competing alternatives. Public opinion began to shift with the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, as the large Western press corps stationed in Beirut and Jerusalem witnessed Israeli deception and brutality. Jabara believes, in fact, that Western media coverage of the intifada, which has "devillainized" Palestinians by portraying them as human beings, would not have occurred without the direct exposure to Lebanon of so many American and European reporters in 1982.

The Israeli invasion also provided ADC's first real challenge, as thousands of Arab Americans, horrified by the events in Lebanon, flocked to the two-year-old organization.

The second crisis to confront ADC occurred in 1985, at a time when it was receiving many complaints from its members about instances of vandalism, graffiti and violence against both Arab students and Arab Americans throughout the country. In October of that year, a bomb rigged at ADC's West Coast regional office killed its director, Alex Odeh. Two policemen were injured defusing a bomb planted outside the ADC Boston office, and ADC's Washington office was heavily damaged by arsonists.

Abdeen Jabara is convinced that these were more than mere hate-inspired acts of violence, that they were politically motivated attacks designed to intimidate Arab Americans and discourage them from organizing to demand their political rights. The following summer he left his law practice of 20 years to assume the presidency of ADC.

Describing ADC's first decade as one of "tears and triumph," Jabara can point to a number of significant accomplishments: the "Eyewitness Israel" program, which sends human rights monitors to the occupied territories; dozens of hearings and seminars on Capitol Hill; exposing former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's memo advising Israel to shut the media out of the occupied territories and use as much force as necessary to suppress the intifada; lobbying for the congressional resolution establishing National Arab-American Day; and much more.

Jabara sees a "tremendous improvement" in the image of Arab Americans over the last five years. Potential defamers, he says, think twice before resorting to racist stereotypes. And it is behavior that Jabara is trying to affect, maintaining that he doesn't "care how people think, but how they behave.”

But Jabara is in fact optimistic about Americans' beliefs as well, saying that 80 percent of the defamation ADC works to oppose is caused by ignorance, not malice. He views Arab Americans as heirs to and beneficiaries of the civil rights movement, which raised people's consciousness and made them sensitive to charges of racism.

Racism, Jabara notes, has negative international as well as domestic repercussions. "You can't have an unbalanced foreign policy unless you dehumanize people," he explains. The coalition-building which is one of ADC's most important activities is thus part of a larger effort to work on behalf of the human and civil rights of disenfranchised people everywhere.

In recognition of his accomplishments, Jabara has been chosen to receive the third annual Janet Lee Stevens Award for "contributions to the improvement of Arab-American understanding." Selected by friends and former colleagues of the pro-Palestinian activist killed in the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut, Jabara will be presented the award at a banquet in Philadelphia later this month.

Abdeen Jabara intends to continue working for the elimination of anti-Arab prejudices and discrimination. His future plans, in either the legal or political arena, include a possible run for Congress from his Michigan district.

Despite ADC's many successes, Jabara is realistic enough to caution that "we're not out of the woods yet," and that there is "no alternative" but to continue the struggle. He is an idealist as well as a realist, however. As such, he is both committed to and proud of ADC as "a firmly developed institution in Arab-American life that exists independent of personality.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (Abdeen Jabara)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Israel Can Be Made to Listen

Hallaj, Muhammad. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 30.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218795034?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Finally, an American administration has an idea of what the Arabs are up against. The frustration with Israel's evasion of peace, expressed on numerous occasions in the past few months by both President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker, is just a taste of what Israel has been dishing out to the Arabs for a long time.

US policy, however, is not just a victim of Israeli evasion; it is also one of its causes. The way to persuade both the Israelis and the Palestinians to reach for that phone is to give them incentives to do so. US policy so far has been sending the wrong message to both parties. The message to the Israelis has been that they have nothing to lose by not responding, and to the Palestinians that they have nothing to gain by responding, to Washington. So why bother reaching out to touch someone who cannot be touched anyway? Why should the Israeli government listen to Washington when it has more support in the US Congress than it has in the Israeli Knesset?

If Washington can make the phones ring in Moscow, it can make them ring in Tel Aviv, in Tunis, in Damascus and anywhere it wants to in the Middle East. The idea that the alternative to making peace between Palestinians and Israelis is for the Bush administration to sit in a corner and sulk is a cop-out, not a policy.

Israel's disdain of US policy is not an obstacle but a result of that policy. As long as Israel believes, and has good reasons to believe, that it is immune to any sort of sanctions -- by the US government, which will not impose them, or the international community, which will not be permitted by the US veto to impose them -- why should it alter its course?

Washington's repeated threats to pull out of the Middle East peace process are morally wrong because it is US partisanship which makes Israel the unrepentant colonial power and the savage state it has become. They are politically unwise because, with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means of their delivery, future Arab-Israeli wars can have more than local implications.

What can the US government do to make Israel listen? Plenty.

1. Washington needs to remember that, as the dominant world power, US obligations to promote peace and its interests in the Middle East have priority over Israel's ambitions and whims.

2. Washington needs to remember that, given Israel's near total dependence on its support, the absurd notion that the US cannot pressure Israel is AIPAC mythology, not a political assessment.

3. Washington should deal with the Palestinians as a party to the conflict and as a necessary partner in peacemaking. Circumventing the PLO may promote Israeli interests, but dealing with it is required by the US interest to promote peace in the Middle East.

4. Washington should make Israel understand that it needs America much more than America needs Israel.

5. Washington should stop dealing with Israel as if it were above the law and apply to it the same yardstick it applies to other stales.

Israel believes that America is a giant with the will of the dwarf. Only when it is proven wrong will it listen.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Stop Aid to Israel

Thompson, George. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 30.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218811177?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Stopping a dialogue with the PLO won't bring peace to the Middle East. But stopping aid to Israel will, and the time to do it has never been more right than now.

Remember Secretary of State James Baker's televised plea to Israel to "call 202-456-1414" when it was ready to talk peace? The White House never got that call, and it never will.

That's because Israel has everything to gain by simply letting the clock tick, while building new settlements as fast as it can.

Israel is using the massive influx of Soviet emigres to hasten its horrific solution to "The Palestinian Problem," and using the US-induced halt in the search for peace to bulldoze more homes while continuing to jail, shoot and kill more Palestinians than ever before.

It is genocide. There is no other word for it. However horrible their history, Israelis learned their lessons well:

Psychologists know that those who abuse were themselves abused, that if conditions are "right," history will repeat itself. That is happening now in Israel.

This writer was hated by Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir as "one of those US Foreign Service Arabists." As area specialists, we studied the history, geography and culture of the area and its people -- Semites all.

Two decades' service in the region and subsequent retirement put this writer and family in an Israeli harbor where we lived for a year aboard our oceangoing ketch. It was there that we engraved forever in our memories Israel's genocide against the Palestinians -- bought and paid for with US tax dollars.

Is it any wonder that Israel Defense Minister Moshe Arens was reported ready to meet only with Defense Secretary Cheney in Washington, as well as Jewish leaders in New York, during his scheduled three-day visit to the US? Or that he refused to meet with State Department officials?

Baker should have known. Instead of waiting for Israel's call, he should be making a few of his own -- to Congress.

Faced with a budget crisis and an S&L scandal that looms larger with each passing day, that misbegotten bunch has never before in history been so besieged by constituents fed up with what's happening in the capitals of state and nation.

Feeling itself threatened more now than ever before, Congress has never been less susceptible to cries of lobbyists clamoring for money -- especially for governments like Israel, which tops the list with $3 billion plus of our money year after year after year.

Even the US media is aware of the gathering storm of indignation. Like some of the more courageous members of Congress, the media also is beginning to shake off the ties that bind us to Israel.

Many of the more enlightened are finally beginning to resent the fact that more than $10 million in tax dollars is being given to Israel each and every day -- FREE -- with no strings.

If that troubles readers as much as it troubles this writer, dial 202-456-1414 or State at 202-647-4000 or, better still, your representatives in Congress.

Your name may not be Shamir, but if enough of you call, somebody in Washington should get the message.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Put Strings on US Aid to Israel

Brownfield, Allan C. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 31.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796446?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The US should move swiftly and firmly in promoting a peace plan for the Middle East which would, in the long run, serve the best interests of all the peoples of that region and our own interests as well.

US-Israel relations are now approaching their lowest point since Menachem Begin's premiership in the early 1980s, with sharp divisions on such issues as Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, the status of Jerusalem and the PLO's role in the peace process.

Bush administration officials believe Yitzhak Shamir has misled them by putting forth a peace proposal he never intended to implement. At the same time, there appears to be little justification for continuing the massive US aid received by Israel.

Israel is the largest recipient of American foreign assistance, receiving $1.2 billion in economic aid and $1.8 billion in military aid each year.

This massive aid was once justified as a means of ensuring Israel as a Western bastion in the face of the Soviet Union's efforts to expand its influence in the Middle East. Such an argument was always a weak one, since it was Arab opposition to massive US support for Israel which permitted Soviet entry into the region in the first place. Now, however, if the Cold War is indeed over, even this weak rationale has been eliminated.

Such aid is harmful to Israel and to the peace process. Israeli journalist Leon Hadar, now a professor of political science at American University, argues that less dependence upon the US would be a good thing for Israel:

"Jerusalem's realization that the US is planning to lessen its involvement...may encourage that country to make the difficult decisions necessary for its continued survival -- withdrawing from the occupied territories and reforming its economy along free-market lines.”

Secretary of State Baker should now make it clear that the US will no longer finance an Israeli regime which refuses to take positive steps toward peace. There is widespread support for a strong US policy of opposition to any increase in West Bank settlements. This support can be found within the American Jewish community as well as in other sectors of American society. John Ruskay, vice chancellor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, states: "There is a growing sadness toward Israel shared by growing numbers of American Jews. The sadness is that after 40 years and a Holocaust we end up occupying thousands of Palestinians against their will.”

The US should actively promote a plan which seeks peace with the Palestinians on the basis of accomodating their national rights with those of Israel. No peace is possible unless the Israeli occupation of the West Bank comes to an end. Negotiations between the parties are essential to work out the details. Compromise will be necessary on all sides.

US aid to Israel should be tied to a resolution of the problems before us. If we continue to provide aid without strings while waiting for Mr. Shamir to come forward with a peace plan, the US will become part of the problem, not the solution. Any US aid to the region should promote compromise and not encourage intransigence.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Continue a Proven Policy

Schindler, Sol. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 31.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218815590?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

One of the coolest men in Washington, where it is fatal to be anything but cool, lost his cool when testifying before Congress some time back. Why did Secretary of State Baker make that much publicized statement about the Israelis knowing his telephone number?

There are three theories: he was annoyed with the Israelis, who finally formed a government after an unconscionable period of time, but with the wrong party in power; he was annoyed with Yasser Ararat, who refused to condemn one of the most stupid raids the bumbling Abul Abbas had ever engineered, and, being thoroughly fed up with the entire Arab-Israeli conflict, took it out on the nearest and most vulnerable Middle East figure; and both of the above. I believe in all three theories.

The leading figures in the latest Israeli cabinet, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Foreign Minister David Levy, and Housing Minister Ariel Sharon, are known to be rather difficult people to deal with. Any one of them might have said a little too frequently, "I told you so. How can you negotiate with someone who not only tells the world he wants to kill you, but keeps trying to do so?”

On the other side of the ledger, there is a theory that the raid was organized precisely as a challenge to Arafat's leadership: to put him in the position of either condoning the raid, thereby breaking his dialogue with the United States and interrupting the peace process, or condemning the raid and incurring the wrath of a good portion of the PLO membership. If he had been courageous enough to condemn the mid, to say that sending small boatloads of green youths to machine-gun sunbathers was no way to achieve either peace or a Palestinian state, that the act was so stupid that it could have been nothing but an attempt to interrupt the peace process, and therefore was a direct challenge to his leadership, he would have moved that process along immeasurably and shot down the arguments of the most intransigent Israelis. Instead, he mumbled.

At one time a large number of Israelis felt that Israel could get along with the Arabs, that peace and a civil co-existence could be achieved. Because of the events of the past two years, those Israelis are fewer in number. At one time there were also a significant number of Palestinians who felt that co-existence with Israel was possible. That number has also dropped dramatically. And although the intifada has declined in intensity, passions still simmer. Amazingly, the status quo continues with no sign of change.

Is the situation then hopeless? Should we simply say a pox on both houses and bow out, as Secretary Baker must be tempted to do? I would hope not. There is still a vital role for American diplomacy, regardless of the lackluster leadership on both sides. Peace and co-existence are not only possible, they are essential. Both sides realize this subconsciously, and we should persevere in saying so. We have been successful in the past in moving both Arabs and Israelis from positions once thought as having been fixed in stone. We should not let statements made in pique deter us from continuing a policy that has been proven sound.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Replacing Campus Racism with Informed Debate

Zalatimo, Dima. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 32.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218792685?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

For Palestinians living under occupation, seeing the light comes by virtue of birth. For those in the diaspora, it is individual experiences that help mold our psyche and shape our political state of mind.

Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents and raised in Illinois and Saudi Arabia, I grew up with a thorough sense of my Palestinian identity. My childhood was a period of inquiry and discovery; I was never actually compelled to defend or justify my heritage.

This changed when I attended the University of Michigan. In Ann Arbor, I found myself confronting the racism from which my parents had long sought to shelter me.

My awakening began when, in a speech class, I attempted to persuade fellow students that our government should cut aid to Israel. Classmates exhibited an intolerance for alternative views on the Middle East by deliberately disrupting my speech. As a result of this and numerous incidents to come, I became aware of what being Palestinian in this country actually entails.

As a Palestinian at such an overwhelmingly pro-Israel campus, your identity is constantly assaulted. The uninformed and misinformed are very comfortable making overtly racist comments to your face. Any challenge to their views is met with hostility and even violence. The experience can be quite demoralizing.

The Perils and Rewards of Speaking Out
I remember being booed by an auditorium full of students when I pointed out the falsity behind an Israeli guest lecturer's claims of Israeli democracy. I found the speaker's astonishment at me and my comment particulady disturbing. Since the University of Michigan has historically been friendly to Israel's supporters, he was taken aback by the presence of a vocal Palestinian in his audience. Ironically, at the end of the lecture an Arab student thanked me for speaking out when she had long been afraid to do so.

This incident had a catalytic effect on my political development. I came to realize the importance of challenging my opponent and articulating this opposition. The fact that there were other Arab-American students experiencing the same tide of racism made confronting the situation easier.

A fellow student was once spat on by a young woman during a bucket drive to raise money for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. I wondered to myself why any woman would react so viciously to a humanitarian effort. Did she not believe Palestinians suffering in refugee camps were worthy of our fund raising? Did she doubt that Palestinians lived in refugee camps? Or was it that she didn't want to acknowledge the suffering of Palestinians? I was bewildered by this woman's reaction.

As troubling as the incident was, it brought the Arab-American students together and made us stronger. The stronger we became, the more hostile and irrational our oppositon became.

As a result, we learned to struggle on campus both as individuals and as a collective body. An injustice against one was viewed as an injustice against all. We realized the ability to mobilize and respond to particular incidents was essential to our effectiveness as concerned Arab-American students.

Taking the Initiative
Increasingly, pro-Israel activists found themselves reacting to our initiatives rather than creating their own. Dr. Israel Shahak, an Israeli professor of chemistry and a Holocaust survivor, who is an outspoken critic of Israeli policy, was harassed and told to go back to Poland when he spoke on campus. A talk by another opponent of Israel's policies, Jewish theologian Mark Ellis, was delayed due to a bomb threat.

In the meantime, I found that many students were able to overcome their skepticism and listen with open minds. Thus, I learned the importance of outreach. A large percentage of the students and faculty members were not as dogmatic as I had initially perceived them to be.

As a group, Arab-American students built broad-based coaltions with other groups fighting for human rights in South Africa and Central America. Thus, when it was time to mobilize around an issue, we were able to rally mass support.

The culmination of Arab-American student activism at the University of Michigan was our work at the school newspaper, the Michigan Daily. Recognizing its importance as a medium for educating the campus about the Palestinian cause, a number of Arab-American students began writing for the newspaper. I became a news reporter.

We began by educating staff members about the Middle East and found many of the Jewish students especially receptive. Having established support among the newspaper staff, it became easier to publish editorials representing a Palestinian viewpoint. The issues we addressed became increasingly controversial. Our editorials became the focus of heated campus debates.

As a news reporter, I covered campus events related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The articles I wrote were fair and accurate (I take issue with the word "objective"), and highlighted controversial points other reporters normally overlooked due to self-censorship or lack of knowledge.

Attempts at Intimidation
My reporting caught the attention of the local Hillel director. He and many other Israeli supporters persistently complained that my coverage of events regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict could not be "objective" due to my background. These people would never complain about an African-American covering minority affairs, or a woman reporting about sexual harassment, or a ballplayer writing for the sports page.

The controversy surrounding our work at the Michigan Daily received national and international publicity. A pro-Israel student protest of alleged anti-Semitism at the Daily received coverage in The New York Times and the Jerusalem Post.

When political intimidation failed, our opponents resorted to violence. Vandals spray-painted "Jew haters will pay" and "PLO Daily" on the walls of the student publications building on campus. Jewish editors who had supported coverage of pro-Palestinian speakers and presentation of both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute received death threats. Naturally, these events did not reach The New York Times or the Jerusalem Post.

By this time, I was thoroughly prepared to challenge whatever opposition I faced. I had discovered the importance of speaking out, reaching out and educating. I am thankful for my experiences at the University of Michigan. As troubling as they were, they made me a stronger person and a more determined Palestinian. I have redirected the light I see into a beam of future hope.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Arafat Advisor Seeks Canadian Aid, Lobbying at United Nations

Dirlik, John. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 33.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796766?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Yasser Arafat's chief political advisor met external affairs officials in Ottawa and urged the government of Canada to use its leverage at the United Nations "to get the parties concerned to the negotiating table as soon as possible.”

Bassam Abu Shard also asked and received assurances of increased humanitarian aid for Palestinians living in the Israeli-occupied territories. Abu Sharif two years ago authored a highly publicized article advocating coexistence with the Jewish state that many believe paved the way for Arafat's subsequent recognition of Israel.

On a speaking tour of several Canadian cities, Abu Sharif stressed that "moderates are now the decision-makers in the PLO." He warned, however, that Israeli intransigence and American complicity were strengthening the hardliners among Palestinians. "Each day we (the PLO) are more and more seen as fools for believing in peace," he said. "Each day we lose more and more the trust our people have given us.”

A Thankless Task
Abu Sharif, who still bears the physicial scars of a Mossad letter bomb that exploded in his hands in 1972, admitted that moderation can be a thankless task. "I sometimes feel I am in danger from extremists on both sides," he said.

The PLO advisor cautioned that if Palestinian peace overtures continue to be rejected, "there are those who would return to the armed struggle, convinced that this is the only way to respond to the murder of their family and friends.”

But Abu Sharif also insisted that the PLO has not given up on its diplomatic efforts to achieve independence. "We will continue working not only for coexistence with Israel, but eventually for a fruitful exchange between the two states based on economic, social and cultural cooperation.”

When asked by a local Jewish newspaper why the PLO has not formally annulled its national covenant which calls for Israel's destruction, he replied, "Our policies have superseded the covenant. The covenant will be amended when Israel ends its occupation." He reminded the reporter that Yitzhak Shamir still considers the West Bank and Gaza as "liberated, not occupied.”

One of the highlights of Abu Sharif's visit was his scheduled participation in a panel discussion at the University of Toronto with Mordechai Virshubski, the deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset. So as not to violate that country's law forbidding contacts with "terrorist organizations," Virshubski was not to speak directly to Abu Sharif. The panel discussion, however, took place without the deputy speaker, who at the last moment was called back to Israel because of a possible close vote in the Knesset. But Virshubski, who is a member of the Civil Rights and Peace Movement Party (RATZ), appeared at an earlier press conference with Abu Sharif where he called for a "solution based on two states, Israel and Palestine.”

Attempt to Bar Sharon Falls
The Canadian Arab Federation (CAF), an umbrella group representing nearly 30 organizations, tried but failed to obtain a court ruling that would have prevented Israeli housing minister Ariel Sharon from entering Canada.

Sharon, who ended up postponing his visit because of pressing political commitments at home, was to be the keynote speaker at a fund-raising luncheon in Toronto for the Jerusalem College of Technology.

CAF had sought an injunction under the provisions of the Immigration Act that denies entry to persons who have" committed acts and omissions outside Canada that constitute crimes against humanity." But Judge James Jerome of the Federal Court dismissed the bid, calling it" fraught with difficulty." He ruled that Sharon could not be barred because there was" no real evidence that his visit would inflict harm.”

Jerome's decision was welcomed by Jewish organizations such as B'nai B'rith and the Canadian Jewish Congress, who had described CAP's court actions as a "publicity plot" and a "pathetic attempt to discredit the state of Israel.”

Lawyers for CAF argued that Sharon, as architect of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, was a war criminal responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians. In an affidavit submitted to the court, one of the plaintiffs said that 22 members of her family were among the 250 civilians killed in August 1982, when Israeli jets bombed a Beirut apartment. Odette Manuel, a Canadian of Lebanese descent who lives in Ontario, said the attack took place during a cease-fire and at a time when Sharon was responsible for all Israeli military activity.

James Kafieh, a spokesman for CAF, expressed disappointment over the court ruling and said the principles which forbade Austrian President Kurt Waldheim from entering Canada for his war role should apply to Sharon. "There shouldn't be one standard for European war criminals and another for Israelis," he said.

A Toronto spokesperson for the Canadian Friends of Jerusalem College of Technology said that they were eagerly waiting for Sharon's rescheduled visit to Canada, but could not confirm the date.

Canada's Labor Movement Expresses Solidarity with Palestinians
In an expression of growing solidarity with the Palestinian movement, the head of Canada's largest labor federation advocated the creation of a Palestinian state.

Shirley Carr, president of the 2.3 million-strong Canadian Labor Congress (CLC), told 3,000 delegates in Montreal that "we call upon Israel to accept a Palestinian state next to its borders." She also called upon Arab countries to guarantee Israel's security.

The official CLC resolution, however, used the term "homeland" rather than "state" and was milder in tone than the proposed resolutions of several CLC affiliates. The Nova Scotia Federation of Labor, for example, had denounced the "death and destruction of the Palestinian people and their homes in lands illegally and immorally occupied by Israeli forces." The Alberta Federation had called upon Israel to allow Palestinian workers to manage their unions "free of harassment and repression.”

A Montreal spokesman for Histadrut, the largest union federation in Israel, complained that the president of the CLC was "not telling the whole story." Issie Nachshen said that the CLC had been steadily shifting toward the Palestinian cause in recent years, but maintained that the Histadrut continues to have good relations with Canadian unions.

Observers attribute the increased sympathy for the Palestinians among the labor movement not only to the intifada, but also to a series of CLC study missions to the occupied territories beginning in the spring of 1989. Whereas in previous years the CLC and its affiliates regularly visited Israel on the Histadrut-sponsored tours, that period marked the first time that direct links were made with Palestinian unions in the West Bank and Gaza.

On her return from one of those fact-finding missions, CLC president Carr reported that the situation there was "not conducive to normal trade union activity." She noted that headquarters of labor organizations were regularly shut down by Israeli authorities and that union members were forbidden to hold large meetings necessary for conventions and elections.

According to Charlene Gannage, a labor researcher at York University in Toronto, it has become increasingly evident to labor solidarity activists that trade union rights in the territories are "integrally bound up with a political resolution...embodied in support for a Palestinian state and direct negotiations with the PLO.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (Bassam Abu Sharif)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



September Convention in New York to Focus on Cutting Aid to Israel

Hadi, Rabab; Butterfield, Jeanne. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 38.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218798085?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

In the Jerusalem Post, US Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) was quoted as saying that "Israel can count on a majority (in Congress) but not an enthusiastic majority." "Lieberman did not rule out the possibility that the $3 billion in [US] aid to Israel would be cut by Congress," the Post added.

The aid issue in the US is part of a growing international focus on sanctions against Israeli occupation, such as those recently implemented by the European Parliament. The alternative seems only to be continuing denial of Palestinian human fights, if not outright transfer and genocide.

These issues will be addressed at the Third National Convention of the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), an American organization with 30 chapters worldwide that support Palestinian rights and work to change US policies in the Middle East.

The Convention, "Mobilizing for Palestinian/Israeli Peace: A US Agenda for the `90s," will be held in New York City Sept. 14-16. Middle East peace activists and concerned individuals will discuss and debate strategies for an effective sanctions campaign against Israeli occupation.

The Convention will begin with an up-to-the-minute analysis of the Palestinian peace strategy, from the vantage point of intifada activists like Bit Zeit University Professor Sari Nusseibeh and Maha Nassar of the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees. Participants will also hear from leading Palestinian Americans, such as Edward Said and Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, both members of the Palestine National Council, and from Professor Naseer Aruri and Zuhdi Terzi, the chief PLO representative at the UN.

The Israeli peace movement perspective will be addressed by Chaya Amir, an organizer in the Tel Aviv-based Women's Organization for Political Prisoners. Jewish, African American, peace, labor and women's movement representatives will discuss the massive US aid to Israel, and consider how to build support within their constituencies for a sanctions campaign to end the occupation.

The Convention will close with workshops to equip activists with tools for developing concrete plans for the grassroots movements to become more involved in a sanctions campaign, to change US policy to one of real support for Palestinian/Israeli peace.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The Arab World Institute in Paris: An Artistic and Diplomatic Success

Ferris, David. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 42.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784514?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

With its north wing resembling the bow of a giant aluminum and glass ship filled with the treasures of a little-understood civilization, the Arab World Institute building provides visitors to Paris an exotic cultural experience.

Inaugurated in 1987, the Institut du Monde Arabe seeks to present virtually the entire range of Arab-Islamic culture, past and present. To the expected fine arts displays, the organizers have added an audio-visual room for music and films, and eventually television programs, from the Middle East.

With its striking new building and choice Left Bank location, IMA [ee-mah], as the Institute is known in Paris, is a joint project of the government of France and the member-states of the Arab League. Initially, neither Egypt nor Palestine was represented on the governing board -- Egypt because it was expelled from the League after signing the Camp David peace accords, and Palestine because only states can be members of the board. As part of the process of reconciliation that saw Egypt accepted back into the Arab League, Egypt was voted onto the Arab World Institute's board in February 1989. Palestine, as represented by the PLO, was accepted onto the board in the spring of that year, and Yasser Arafat has made two visits to the Institute.

Politics aside, there is no doubt that IMA is an artistic success. Most of the permanent collection is presented in the north wing which, following the curve of the road (quai Saint Bernard) that borders the Seine, comes to an aluminum and glass point at its junction with the boulevard Saint Germain.

The slab-like south wing is also quite striking: on its facade, architect Jean Nouvel has created a high-tech invocation of a mashrabieh, or viewing screen, through which family members could look out onto the street below, while protecting their own privacy.

Introduced on the seventh floor by a sort of foyer that mixes Byzantine and Islamic artifacts, the permanent collection is arranged so that as visitors descend, they are going forward in time, eventually reaching the work of contemporary artists from the Middle East.

On the sixth floor, the first major display presents the mystical beauty of Arabic calligraphy. Much of what is considered beautiful in this art form is summed up in a single Koran from Egypt, set in a lone display case opposite the windows.

Especially during the 10th through 12th centuries, scholars and scientists from the Islamic world made significant contributions to medicine, optics, geography and mathematics. Some of these contributions are at least alluded to in the "science room" on the sixth floor, which includes a 12th-century treatise on algebra by the Persian poet and mathematician, Omar Khayyam.

Arabesques (designs based on sinuous vines or geometric figures) are very much in evidence on the artifacts of everyday life that fill the fourth floor, where the weapons display serves as a reminder that Islam was not spread by religious fervor alone.

IMA presents an outstanding display of miniature paintings on the second floor, up near the bow of the ship. The "Portrait of the Emperor Aurangzeb," dated 1675, seems to exercise a particular fascination for anyone who comes near.

When IMA's collection is fully assembled, displays evoking the daily lives of merchants, farmers and nomads will form a buffer between the accumulated treasures of the Arab-Islamic tradition and the work of contemporary artists. At present, the transition is abrupt. What is so surprising for visitors to the Institute is the extent to which artists from the Middle East already have joined the mainstream of contemporary abstract art.

With the Arab World Institute now open in Paris, Westerners have an unprecedented opportunity to experience the richness of Arab-Islamic culture. Inspired by their religion, and operating within its confines, Muslim rulers became the patrons of a tradition that drew on Byzantine, Middle Eastern and Asian sources to create a unique, yet surprisingly accessible, artistic tradition.

For now, Arab-Islamic states have a showcase for their culture in one of Europe's major cities. In years to come, the commitment demonstrated to the success of this project by the French government should help strengthen that country's influence in the Middle East.

In the long run, however, the most significant impact of the Arab World Institute may be its effect on the schoolchildren who troop through its galleries. These children will have an opportunity to develop an understanding of the culture of the Arab-Islamic world that should benefit that world, their own country, and themselves.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (Arab World Institute)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Three US Firms Land Saudi Contracts for Expansion of Oil Facilities

Egan, John. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 57.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218811243?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The Saudi Arabian national oil company awarded three hefty engineering and construction contracts to US firms earlier this year, as part of a Saudi plan to expand the Kingdom's ability to produce oil.

The three contracts, with a combined value of about $600 million, are only a fraction, however, of the estimated $45 billion in capital outlays which the Saudis are planning to spend this decade to boost their ability to pump oil.

The three American companies -- Fluor, Parsons and Asea Brown Boveri -- will provide engineering and construction (E&C) services to Saudi Aramco over the next five years. Each contract carries renewal provisions which could stretch the work out to the end of the decade. Since all three firms have years of Saudi experience, it is clear that the Saudis wanted to work with companies that had performed successfully in the Kingdom. "Call it the comfort factor," said one veteran oilman.

"The Comfort Factor”

"We are pleased to have been selected to work with Saudi Aramco again," said Les McCraw, Fluor's vice chairman and chief executive, Fluor, based in Irvine, CA, earned $108 million on $6.2 billion in revenue for the year ending Oct. 31, 1989. McCraw said that the Saudi Aramco contracts could be the most significant ones his company has landed in a decade. Fluor will manage expansion of onshore and offshore production facilities as well as oversee the de-mothballing of production facilities in the Kingdom's northern sector.

Asea Brown Boveri will also work in the Kingdom's northern sector, managing a program to increase the readiness of offshore platforms.

The Ralph M. Parsons Co., meanwhile, will manage, engineer and provide other services relating to Saudi oil and gas plants in the Kingdom's southern region. Said Robert Sheh, president of the Pasadena, CA-based E&C giant, "These significant contracts extend our longstanding relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia." Parsons has managed or built several huge Saudi projects over the last 40 years, including Yanbu, the industrial city on the Red Sea, the 40 squaremile King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, and a 250,000-barrel-per-day (b/d) refinery at Jubail.

Three other US companies were in the running for the contracts which Saudi Aramco handed out in late June. But while these firms -- Bechtel, M.W. Kellogg and Foster Wheeler -- failed to land the lucrative construction management contracts, they probably won't go away empty-handed: The three will bid on various subcontractor contracts, including engineering, materials procurement, and actual construction.

Competition from Asia and Europe
The US firms face stiff competition from Asian firms for these contracts, however. Asian subcontractors did most of the actual brick-and-mortar construction work for the mega-projects awarded by Saudi Arabia in the 1970s, and some experts say the Asian firms will have the inside track on those jobs this time around.

US firms face severe competitive disadvantages when operating overseas, Unlike European governments, the US taxes the incomes of its citizens who work overseas. As a result, "US engineers are pretty high-priced," remarked one oil executive who has grappled with the problem.

The Saudis are spending money today so that they can make more money in the future. World oil demand continues to grow and Saudi Arabia, with proven oil reserves of some 250 billion barrels, is one of the few countries in the world which can expand production to help meet the world's increasing demand for oil.

The world will consume about 65 million b/d this year, but industry analysts expect world consumption to reach 75 million b/d or more by the year 2000. By then, Saudi Aramco wants to produce 10 million b/d, a sharp increase over its current ability to pump seven million b/d. Under OPEC's current production quota system, the Kingdom can only produce about 5.3 million b/d. But, during the 1990s, oil production will decline for several OPEC members, as well as non-OPEC producers like the US, Mexico and the United Kingdom. The Soviet Union is the world's largest oil producer, pumping nearly 12 million b/d last year, but experts say the USSR's oil fields will start running down in the coming decade.

That leaves Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates as the five countries willing and able to increase their daily production to meet the expected increase in world demand. All five Middle Eastern countries have started expanding their oil production capacity. But the Saudis, who have the world's largest proven oil reserves, have been the most aggressive in expanding their production facilities.

Fluctuating World Oil Prices
After Iran's Islamic revolution turned off that country's oil spigot in 1979, Saudi Aramco dramatically increased its production to about 10 million b/d. Increased Saudi oil production helped meet world demand, but prices soared.

High oil prices led to the development of more fuel-efficient cars, which helped cut world oil demand by the mid-1980s. Then, when world oil supply exceeded demand, the Kingdom sought to persuade all OPEC members to accept lower production quotas. When some didn't, Saudi Arabia fought a price war with other OPEC members to preserve its share of an oversupplied world oil market. The 1985-86 price war, which briefly pushed oil prices below $10 per barrel, was welcomed by consumers.

But as overproduction pushed down the price of oil and cut the amount of cash entering the Kingdom, Aramco mothballed at least three million barrels of production capacity during the late 1980s. It also deferred several development projects and stopped maintaining some facilities.

Saudi Aramco will have to pay heavily to restore production to the 10 million b/d mark. The desert's corrosive destruction of pipes and other oil production equipment is evident in both mothballed and existing production facilities, say analysts. Also, demothballing some facilities can be almost as expensive as building them from scratch, they add.

Funding the capital outlays won't be easy, particularly with Saudi Arabia's estimated $8 to $10 billion balance of payments deficit this year. Iran and Iraq, financially debilitated after nearly a decade of war, have the same dilemma: plenty of oil reserves but little cash.

For that reason, OPEC Secretary General Subroto of Indonesia has toured world capitals throughout much of 1990 with one message: The world's oil producing countries cannot by themselves pay the massive bills associated with expanding their oil production capacity.

"During the 1970s and early 1980s many OPEC countries rang up huge debts, and this debt overhang is why most countries can't simply borrow the money to finance the expansion," said Patrick Connolly, a senior consultant with Cambridge Energy Associates. While in some economic pain, Saudi Arabia is more able to approach commercial bankers for loans pegged to the future production of oil than are Venezuela, Indonesia or Iraq, he told the Washington Report.

"The banks are not going to be the most obvious source of capital because they have cross-border lending problems and country loan limits," commented Connolly. "The banks are tremendously exposed in the Third World.”

That's one reason why OPEC's Subroto has asked the world's major integrated oil companies to consider lending money to the cartel's members so that they can expand their production facilities. So far few companies have stepped forth.

Connolly estimates the world's 25 largest oil companies will generate about $250 billion in cash flow over the next four years, but capital spending will total only about $185 billion, leaving $65 billion or so in surplus. "The surplus, and its disposition, is going to be a very strategically important factor over the next four to five years," he says.

Saudi Aramco's expensive expansion program will be watched closely by the oil industry and commercial bankers throughout the world. To date, at least three US engineering and construction firms are happy with what they see.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



JEWS AND ISRAEL

Barron, Andrea. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 60.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218794978?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Jewish Anti-Apartheid Fight "Has No Strings”

Seymour Reich, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said his community was "disappointed" when Nelson Mandela described PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat as a "comrade in arms." But he made it clear that the "Jewish community will continue to support the struggle against racism at home and apartheid in South Africa" because "our fight against apartheid has no strings." Mandela, deputy president of the African National Congress (ANC), said on ABC-TV's "Nightline" news program that the ANC's "attitude toward any country is determined by the attitude of that country toward our struggle." Arafat, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and Cuba's Fidel Castro all support the anti-apartheid struggle "to the hilt," he said. The ANC leader stressed that while he supports the Palestinians' right to self-determination and Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, he also believes Israel has the right to exist "within secure borders." When asked his views on the 1975 UN Resolution equating Zionism with racism, Mandela responded: "It depends what is meant by Zionism. If Zionism means the right of Israel to occupy lands of other countries like the Golan Heights, West Bank, Gaza Strip, then I condemn that. But if Zionism means the desire of the Jewish community to have their own state, then I support it.”

AIPAC Doesn't Speak for All Jews
"AIPAC doesn't speak for all US Jews," Israeli peace activist Yael Dayan told a crowd of over 200 Jews assembled in a Washington, DC synagogue in June. Dayan was referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the principal pro-Israel lobby in the United States. She said some American Jews are angry with the US government for refusing to grant a visa to PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and for vetoing a UN Security Council Resolution that would have sent a mission to investigate Israel's treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. "These Jews should make their views known to Congress," she said. Dayan, daughter of the late Israeli Defense Minister and war hero Moshe Dayan, is a leader in Israel's "Peace Now" movement and a member of the opposition Labor Party's Central Committee. She appeared along with prominent East Jerusalem Palestinian leader Faisal Husseini, who was imprisoned by Israeli authorities in July 1988, three days after he spoke at a "Peace Now" rally in Jerusalem in favor of "mutual recognition" between Israelis and Palestinians. Dayan and Husseini agreed that Israel must begin talks with the PLO but differed on the question of US aid to Israel. "I oppose a reduction in US aid not because it is immoral but because it won't change anything," Dayan said. She argued that an aid cut would never make Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir change his policies because he'd never want to be "accused of selling Israel off" for any amount of money. Husseini, on the other hand, said there should be some linkage between US aid and Israeli policies, although he stopped short of calling for a complete cut-off in aid.

AIPAC Newsletter Reports Growing Support for Hamas in Gaza Strip
The Islamic fundamentalist movement Hamas is gaining strength in the Gaza Strip, according to an article in the Near East Report, the weekly newsletter sponsored by AIPAC. The article pointed to Hamas's victory in a recent election conducted among the 4,500 employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza. Hamas won 15 of the 27 seats on the council, which represents UNRWA teachers, laborers and other workers in Gaza. "Apologists for the PLO repeat the mantra that the PLO is the `sole legitimate representative' of the Palestinian people," said the Near East Report. It cited the UNRWA election results as the "latest evidence of the lack of support for the PLO among Palestinians.”

The article went on to state that UNRWA employees who opposed Hamas split their vote, with some voting for PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and others supporting "leftist candidates." The Near East Report used the Hamas victory to argue against claims by "Arab-American propagandists" that a Palestinian state would be a "secular democracy" and to emphasize the legitimacy of Israeli fears that such a state would be "committed to (Israel's) destruction." The newsletter cited a quote from the Jerusalem Post, where Jamil Hamami, a "senior activist" from Hamas, challenged Arafat's recognition of Israel. "Jews have no historical or political roots in Palestine," said Hamami. "Palestine is Islamic land in its entirety, and it is impossible to concede any part of it. Neither the PLO nor any Arab state has the authority to make concessions with regard to Palestinian soil.”

According to the Near East Report, Hamas believes the solution to the Palestinian question is the creation of an Islamic state in Palestine which would then become part of a greater Islamic entity. Jews born in Palestine would have "full civil rights" in this Islamic state, but no national rights.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



ARAB-AMERICAN ACTIVISM

Willford, Catherine M. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 61.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784761?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

ADC Demands Action in Odeh Case
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is urging the State and Justice Departments to increase pressure on the Israeli government to arrest and extradite Jewish Defense League (JDL) member Robert Manning, suspected of setting the bomb which killed ADC regional director Alex Odeh in Santa Ana, CA in 1985. Although the Justice Department has requested Manning's extradition in connection with another bombing, lack of Israeli cooperation has paralyzed the case in recent years.

Manning and two suspected accomplices, Andy Green and Keith Fuchs, currently reside in the Israeli West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba. Israeli authorities say they are prevented from making an arrest because the US extradition request specified that Manning not be arrested in the West Bank, as the US does not recognize Israeli authority over the occupied territories.

According to a recent ABC News report, the Israelis are using the Manning case to force the US into setting a precedent that would recognize Israeli authority in the West Bank. However, if Manning, an Israeli Defense Forces reservist, were assigned to a military base inside Israeli territory he could be arrested without raising questions of Israeli sovereignty.

Success Reported in Lebanon Aid
The National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA) has announced the passage of an amendment to the FY 1991 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which earmarked $7.5 million in assistance for Lebanon. NAAA had been engaged in intensive lobbying efforts in support of the amendment, proposed by Representative Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH). "Although the Lebanese people have repeatedly rebuilt their country only to see it destroyed again, they are still determined to rebuild once more," stated NAAA Executive Director Jawad George. "This US assistance will help them in their diligent efforts.”

Ramallah Delegation Meets with State Department Officials
Members of the American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine, the largest Palestinian-American organization in the United States, recently met with US State Department officials. The delegation urged that dialogue between the US and the PLO be resumed immediately, that the US administration announce its support for the reopening of the six universities of the West Bank and Gaza, and that the administration continue its opposition to illegal settlements in the occupied territories. Federation President Dr. Anis Aijluni noted that under the Bush administration there has been an openness of thought and behavior which was "unimaginable" under the Reagan administration.

ADC Delegation Visits USSR
ADC recently sponsored a six-person delegation to the USSR to study Soviet Jewish emigration and to inform people of the potentially explosive effects such large-scale emigration would have on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ADC President Abdeen Jabara stated that, "Soviet Jews are being used as cannon fodder by the Israeli government to help in its expansionist goals.”

The delegation met with academics, journalists and political activists, the vice president of the central synagogue in Moscow, a number of Jewish intellectuals and organizations based in Kiev and Moscow, members of the Oriental Institute, the Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee and Gennali Tarasov, the Soviet Foreign Ministry's roving ambassador in the Middle East.

The delegates noted that Soviet emigration to Israel was not a phenomenon based on ideology or strong pro-Israel sentiments. The American visitors returned convinced that there was an acute need to counter misinformation by Israeli envoys about the true nature of life in Israel and of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation. The delegation recommended: establishment of a joint committee of Soviets and Arab-Americans to promote better communication and information: the organization of a delegation of Arab and Arab-American business people and marketing and economic experts to explore possible joint ventures with the Soviets; and application of pressure on the US and other Western governments to admit Soviet Jews who do not wish to move to Israel.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Trade and Finance

Haldane, John T. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 62.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784589?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

North and South Yemen Merge
The May 22 merger of the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) into the Republic of Yemen promises to provide significant economic advantages to the new nation. Strategically located at the mouth of the Red Sea, the new country's 12 million inhabitants make it the most populous nation on the Arabian peninsula. Its assets include combined oil reserves estimated at up to 10 billion barrels, considerable agricultural potential and the port of Aden.

Officials in Sanaa already are predicting a healthy boost in agricultural production. Exports of fresh fruit and vegetables are increasing and the abolition of border controls will encourage expansion of the more fertile agricultural areas. Local agro-industrial projects using highly developed technology, including edible oil refining, dairy operations, carton manufacturing and canning and baking, also will benefit from the expanded market provided by a unified republic.

While Sanaa will be the political capital of the new state, Aden is destined to become the commercial center. A plan to modernize and expand Aden port is already under study, with the assistance of the United Nations. The Yemenis hope to turn it into a large free port that could seriously compete with Dubai as a redistribution center to Africa, Europe and the Arabian peninsula.

The most obvious advantage of unity, however, is the increased potential for developing new oil fields. As the Oil and Gas Journal put it: "Creation of a single new state, Yemen Republic, from the merger of North and South Yemen will integrate two oil ministries that have handled the Arabian Peninsula's most exciting oil play for the past five years.”

A joint Yemen Company for Investment in Oil & Mineral Resources was established in 1989 to supervise development in the 2,200-square-kilometer neutral zone straddling the Marib Al-Jawf basin in the north and the Shabwa basin in the south. A consortium comprising the Hunt Oil Co. and Exxon Corp. of the United States, Compagnie Francaise des Petroles of France, Machinoimport and Zarubezhgeologia of the Soviet Union and the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. has been awarded a concession to oversee exploration and development. Reserves are estimated to be at least 5 billion barrels.

GulfAmerica Business Conference
The National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce announced that a business conference for 250 Arab and 250 American companies will be held Oct. 14-17 at the Gulf Hotel, Bahrain under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and in cooperation with the GCC Federated Chambers of Commerce. The conference's sponsor, GulfAmerica, believes the conference will give US firms a good opportunity to build upon the already existing share of more than $10 billion worth of business between the US and the Gulf States. The meeting will cover such topics as high technology transfer; reconstruction opportunities in Iraq; banking and finance; and the petrochemical industry.

Recent Aid Loans
The World Bank recently made loans to Algeria ($96 million), Egypt ($62 million), Jordan ($150 million), Morocco ($250 million) and Sudan ($82 million) for a wide variety of economic development projects.

The Islamic Development Bank made new loans to Egypt ($32 million), Iraq ($10 million), and the former South Yemen ($5 million) for power and agricultural projects.

The Arab Monetary Fund lent $163 million to Algeria to finance economic reforms and $26 million to Egypt for balance of payments support.

In addition to the above institutional loans, Saudi Arabia has provided Iraq with $40 million for a Basra hospital and Egypt $97 million for three agricultural and transportation projects.

US Agricultural Exports to Middle East Break Record
US agricultural exports to the Mideast and North Africa reached a record $4.1 billion last year, up eight percent from $3.8 billion in 1988 and 41 percent from $2.9 billion in 1987. The Department of Agriculture predicts that US agricultural exports to the region will continue to make strong gains throughout the early 1990s.

Several factors have contributed to this growth in exports. Demand for food is increasing rapidly because of urbanization. Population growth in the region has been approximately 2.8 percent annually. In the past two years, Iraq, Algeria, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey have suffered crop production shortfalls. Also, American farm products have become more competitive, as prices have risen for many commodities from Europe because of reduction in government export restitution payments and subsidies to European farmers.

Most of the countries in the Middle East were more dependent upon imports for food in 1989 than in the early 1980s, except for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco. National leaders are increasingly concerned with problems related to food prices, subsidy costs and slow progress in raising agricultural production to achieve food self-sufficiency.

The strongest gains for US exporters were made in Algeria, Egypt and Iraq. Algeria is the third major market in the region. Egypt and Iraq are approaching the $1 billion market as outlets for US products. These three countries accounted for over half of US agricultural exports to the region.

Gulf Arabs Targeting Economic Expansion in the Pacific Rim
The booming economies of the Pacific Rim countries are the next target for expansionist downstream affiliates of state oil companies in the Middle East. After breaking into the established but slowly growing US and European markets, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have embarked on a much more demanding task: gaining entry to the highly protected Japanese downstream business and other lucrative Far East markets.

Saudi Arabia appears to be making progress in its attempt to crack Japan's reluctance to admit newcomers to its downstream business. Recent top-level contacts between Tokyo and Riyadh will lead to formal meetings between representatives of the two governments later this year. However, Japan wants to ensure that establishing a Saudi-owned operation in Japan will be part of an overall program to reform Japan's refining and marketing operations. Tokyo will be seeking guarantees that the Japanese market will be provided with stable deliveries of crude oil and products over 10 years or more.

Japan is not the only country marked for attention. Kuwait is growing increasingly active in Thailand, China, Indonesia and Pakistan. The first of Kuwait Petroleum's retail gasoline stations is scheduled to be opened in Thailand shortly. The Kuwaiti company hopes eventually to build a chain of at least 200 retail outlets. In China, the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. (KUFPEC) is a partner with Arco in a major gas discovery offshore of Hainan Island in the South China Sea. In Indonesia, KUFPEC is a partner in three concessions, two of which contain oil fields under development. KUFPEC also is a partner in a consortium in Pakistan which recently found a large gas field in the eastern part of the country.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The False Prophet: Meir Kahane; From FBI Informant to Knesset Member

Killgore, Andrew I. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  4 (Sep 30, 1990): 64.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218792792?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

By Robert I. Friedman. Lawrence Hill Books, 1990. Hardcover, 282 pp. List: $19.95. AET: $15.00 for one, $19.95 for two.

When Britian issued the euphemistically worded Balfour Declaration in 1917, three categories of people were mentioned. These were "the Jewish people," "Jews" and "existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine." The latter were the Palestinians, 95 percent of the total population of Palestine at the time. Numbering about five million today, half of the Palestinians are in exile aa Palestinian diaspora. The other half, 2.5 million souls, live under Israeli domination in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel proper. It is these Palestinians under Israeli control whom Rabbi Meir Kahane, author Robert I. Friedman's "False Prophet," would expel totally. Palestinians stubborn enough to try to remain in spite of the intimidation Kahane envisions would, by implication, be killed if that became necessary.

The Balfour Declaration's peculiar division of the adherents of Judaism into two categories, "Jews" and "the Jewish people," reflected a split in British Jewry between non-Zionists and Zionists. The non-Zionists, led by the wealthy and politically powerful British Jewish Montagu and Montefiore families, feared that their own standing and the status of Jews in other countries would suffer if a Jewish state were established. These were the Declaration's "Jews," whose rights were not supposed to be harmed. Those wanting a Jewish state, as the Declaration always envisaged in spite of its tricky Latinate obfuscations, were the "Jewish people.”

In 1948, they got their state of Israel, which has exiled half of the Palestinians and repressed the other half.

All this is background to the establishment of two arenas, the Zionist state and also its corps of American Jewish supporters, in which Rabbi Kahane has played his multifaceted role. As meticulously documented by author Robert Friedman, a frequent contributor to the Village Voice, Newsday, the Los Angeles Times and this magazine, Rabbi Kahane emerges as the closest thing to a monster yet seen in the United States. The Orthodox rabbi from Brooklyn is depicted by Friedman as a hate-filled racist just as ready to smash Jew as Gentile to realize his ambitions, which include becoming prime minister of Israel or even the Jewish Messiah.

Founder in the United States of the violence-prone Jewish Defense League, and in Israel of the ultra-extremist Kach Party, Kahane has had loyal and wealthy supporters in both countries. Drawn to his charismatic personality, many of these supporters revel in Kahane's image of the empowered Jew who, though facing persecutors or would-be persecutors on all sides, smites his enemies before they can smite him. His "enemies everywhere" philosophy is reflected in the name he chose for his scruffy office in Jerusalem: "The Museum of the Future Holocaust.”

Friedman's is a scathing portrait of Kahane, his noisome supporters in America and Israel, and of the extremist side of Israel itself. Like the highest tree in the forest, the uniqueness of Friedman's portrayal of this violent side of Israel and its American support mechanisms attracts lightning. The New York Times Book Review, instead of dealing with the substance of charges by Friedman, who is Jewish, set out instead to prove that his book is an attack on Judaism itself. It assigned a literary hit man to so savage the book that a subsequent review in the Village Voice questioned whether the Times review of "The False Prophet" was not a review of an entirely different book.

The ensuing verbal shoot-out between the Times and Village Voice reviewers can be compared to the same issue that split Britian's Jews more than 70 years ago: Is Judaism to be synonymous with Israel? Are all Jews to be held accountable for Israeli transgressions?

In this sense the Israelis represent the "Jewish people," and Jews who reside elsewhere, particularly American Jews, are the "Jews" of the Balfour Declaration. It was the Jews who reside elsewhere whose "rights and political status" were not to be prejudiced when a Jewish state was established.

Significantly, both the American attackers and defenders of Friedman assume he should be writing as a Jew. For example, Jewish peace activist Rita Hauser, a defender, finds that he writes about Israel "with sensitivity." The fierceness of The New York Times book reviewer's attack, however, reveals that he believes Friedman has betrayed Judaism, or at least Zionism, by letting the chips fall where they may in "The False Prophet.”

Perhaps too contradictory for "psychological" analysis, Kahane only gradually emerges, as Friedman clearly intends, from thousands of bits and pieces of evidence. It appears his hatred of Arabs may come from the killing by Palestinians of a Kahane relative in the 1930s. Yet his apparent belief that he is the Jewish Messiah must flow from some deeper well, perhaps a basic schizophrenia.

Friedman describes the Jewish unease on which Kahane battened as blacks crowded into former Jewish neighborhoods in New York. Against a background of occasional muggings and street fights, Kahane cofounded the eventually murderous Jewish Defense League. More fiction than fact in its early days, JDL's role in defending Jews was brilliantly embellished in fiery Kahane speeches and newspaper columns. After Kahane adopted the issue of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union, the JDL extended its activities from simple harassment to sniper attacks on the families of Soviet and Arab diplomats. Such vicious attacks on foreign diplomats in the United States were designed to provoke reprisals in kind against US diplomats abroad.

Friedman's revelation that Israeli intelligence and Yitzhak Shamir, then a Mossad operations director and now prime minister of Israel, were secretly colluding with the JDL to violate US laws in a manner sure to put Americans abroad in mortal peril, may account in part for the Book Review's blast at "The False Prophet.”

In 1985, after Kahane had moved to Israel, JDL violence increased. That year his extremist followers murdered two Americans, including Alex Odeh, an official of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) in Southern California. The putative murderers took refuge in Israel, as had Kahane himself, earlier, after FBI surveillance become too hot in America.

Rabbi Kahane's private life also was an embarrassment to Orthodox Jews, whose rabbis normally observe the highest personal standards. Professing contempt for women, Kahane had one affair after another, although he had a wife and four children. He was so notoriously careless about funds entrusted to him that, if he had not been identified as a man of the cloth, he might have been regarded simply as a crook. Still, he retained a covey of passionate and monied supporters.

The explanation may lie both in Kahane's undoubted personal charisma, and a disinclination among the faithful to believe that an Orthodox rabbi could, in fact, be simply despicable. Kahane's existence in Israel has been just more of the same, or worse. His hateful rantings against Arabs attracted such support that he won a seat in the Knesset.

Then, when polls in Israel indicated his "Kach" slate might win three or four Knesset seats in Israel's 1988 general election, the Israeli government decided he was a "racist" and did not permit him to run.

Kahane's Economic Lifeline
Friedman details Kahane's economic lifeline to the United States, where he raises millions, and not merely from radical Jewish right-wingers in New York. Indeed, what Friedman calls one of the best kept secrets in America is that Kahane gets big money from extremely prominent businessmen, including Reuben Mattus, the founder of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.

Overall, Robert Friedman paints a sordid picture of Kahane, his American and Israeli supporters, and extremist Jewish forces in Israel. In some circles, apparently, including The New York Times Book Review, the brazen truth is regarded as betrayal.

To this reviewer, Friedman is simply an honest man who exercised a good writer's obligation to sort out fact from fiction. This was not easy in the case of the elusive Kahane, who frequently used aliases and who lied routinely. Washington Post foreign editor David Ignatius got it right when he said of Friedman, "As far as I know, he's a tough reporter who takes on tough subjects and gets his facts right.”

If Friedman were an Israeli writing in Hebrew, "The False Prophet" would not have created an uproar. It is only in America, as they say, that many Jewish "leaders" and "Jewish" institutions, pre-eminently, perhaps, The New York Times, have such a certifiable case of schizophrenia, applying one standard of truth to Jewish writers and their subjects, and quite another to everyone and everthing else.

It is, in fact, impossible, as the drafters of the Balfour Declaration realized, for the same individuals to fill both the roles of "Jews" and "the Jewish people." Americans who seek only to fight Israeli battles, no matter what the cost to the United States, invite and surely will feel the contempt of their fellow Americans.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Israel's American lobby, makes no serious pretense to be anything else. When The New York Times, however, seeks through calumny to discredit such an original, informative and carefully researched and documented book as Robert Friedman's "The False Prophet," the editors risk losing their claim to be "America's newspaper of record," whose owners just happen to American Jews. Instead, the mighty Times begins to look like a major weapon in the arsenal of Israel.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Saddam Hussein's Militant Strategy Gains From Halt in Peace Process

Hazo, Robert. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 6.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796993?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Recently, due largely to the new militancy of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, a radical turning point may have been reached in the protracted Arab-Israeli conflict. That turning point consists of the revival of a strategy of military confrontation with Israel. That strategy, never fully abandoned, does not necessarily aim at war, but at dealing with Israel from a position of strength rather than weakness. Despite many and serious setbacks, the Palestinian spirit has never been defeated. Witness, for example, the fact that the intifada, which is in its third year, has spread to Israel proper, and recently has received impressive public support in Jordan.

Until quite recently; however, the Arabs as a body have moved gradually and reluctantly toward the "peace process," making concession after concession because they saw no other option. Knowing that those who make the rules win the game, however, increasingly they feared the consequence of going along with an Israeli-American dominated peace process which requires them to negotiate from weakness. Many, therefore, had very little hope for a satisfactory outcome and felt even more embittered and humiliated because their acceptance of this course of action was by default.

An Appeal to Arab Pride
Saddam Hussein's appeal is to Arab pride. For a variety of reasons, at least one of them of his own making, his timing was on the mark. Arab frustration seldom has been greater, nor resentment deeper. Suddenly and, for most of the Arabs, unexpectedly, President Hussein's defiant retaliatory threat gave them heart. His is a credible threat, coming from a source of actual and potential power. He has a battle-tested army of a million men, which he will undoubtedly shrink only at a pace that will allow their absorption into the work force.

Iraq has the elements of a robust economy, if developed wisely. It has an adequate cash flow, since Saddam Hussein has no intention of repaying Saudi Arabia and the Arab states of the Gulf the $60 billion they provided for Iraq's war with Iran.

Iraq also has already created a fledgling industrial base, including the beginning of military industry. Recently, Iraq launched a satellite into orbit, bolstering its claim to have a rocket with a range of 2,000 miles. Although Iraq certainly emerged deeply d rained by its protracted conflict with I ran, in some basic respects it is much stronger than it was at the beginning of that conflict.

President Hussein was banking on that strength when he declared"..we will make the fire eat up half of Israel, if it tries to do anything against Iraq." He added, "We do not need an atomic bomb. We have the dual chemical. Whoever threatens us with the atomic bomb, we will annihilate with the dual chemical." The reference was to binary chemical weapons in which two benign components produce a deadly gas when combined.

US experts confirm that President Hussein's threat is no bluff. Both Iraq and Iran used chemical weapons during their war. It was fear that Iraq could mount chemical warheads on its existing missiles capable of reaching Tehran and other major cities that induced Iran to agree to cease-fire proposals previously accepted by Iraq. The Soviet Scud missile has a normal range of 200 miles. Altered with the help of French technicians, its range has been extended to about 600 miles with reasonable accuracy. A number of these missiles have been placed on Iraq's western border with Jordan, well within range of Israel's cities. Israelis are worried about these missiles, and because they do not know how many more of what have come to be called "weapons of mass destruction" Iraq can deliver by aircraft and artillery.

Prepared for Retaliation
President Hussein has prepared for a retaliatory thrust in other ways. In a development that has been widely noted in Israel, but not sufficiently emphasized in the United States, he has co-opted the mainly pro-Western King Hussein. The Jordanian monarch now fears that a right-wing Israeli government may move rapidly and decisively to dump large numbers of Palestinians into Jordan, overthrow him in the resulting chaos, and then move to expel Palestinians remaining in the occupied territories into Jordan, claiming that it has become the Palestinian state.

Iraqi aircraft, flying high over Jordan, are reported to have flown reconnaissance missions close to the Israeli reactor at Dimona. There are other reports that some Iraqi soldiers are in Jordan training with the Jordanian army. It is even possible that weapons systems for delivery of poison gas have beens lipped into Jordan.

One of President Hussein's greatest strengths is his ruthlessness and skill in political maneuver, as shown by the manner in which he eliminated his competitors during the year after his appointment as president of Iraq. Despite the egregious mistake of seeking to settle long-standing problems by launching a military attack against Iran -- a conflict Saddam Hussein may have expected to last eight days or eight weeks, but not eight blood-drenched years -- he somehow was able to retain power in a nation of 14 million, half of which are Shi'i Muslims, while fighting a nation of more than 40 million which is the heartland of Shi'i Islam. It is noteworthy that it was Iran which suddenly and urgently pressed for a cease-fire as its civilians fled major cities and as Iraqi troops and Iraqi-armed Iranian dissidents were said to be poised for an overland assault toward the Iranian capital.

It is possible now that Saddam Hussein deliberately set the stage for his grab at regional Arab primacy. He is supposed to have spoken out because he feared an Israeli strike similar to the one that destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Baghdad in 1981. This explanation was triggered by the execution of a London-based journalist, Farzad Bazoft, as an Israeli spy, and was followed by British-US allegations that they had uncovered an Iraqi plot to smuggle electronic capacitors to be used as triggers for nuclear devices.

Could Iraq have done these things to set the stage for its thrust for Arab regional primacy? After all, little or nothing is known about the evidence against Bazoft or his trial. The Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations pointed out on US television that the order for the capacitators (which he claimed were for industrial use) was sent to England by regular cable and not clandestinely. Might not they have been so ordered precisely because there was a desire that they be discovered?

Such a scheme is well within the cunning, Machiavellian capacity of President Hussein. It seems more than coincidental that so many circumstances came together not only as background for Saddam Hussein's aggressive statements, but also just prior to an Arab summit in Baghdad with the focus on Saddam.

Preoccupied with the war with Iran for eight years, little was heard from President Hussein regarding Israel. Yet, all this while he knew the Arab-Israeli conflict was the best vehicle to advance his ambition for leadership in the Arab world. With statements like "We will never give up the struggle for Palestine," he has taken an ambiguous rather than rejectionist stance which, nevertheless, is a very defiant line. He also went further than any other Arab leader, including Arafat, on the matter of Soviet immigration when he said, "tit is not enough for us to argue that immigrants must not be housed in Arab lands occupied since 1967. Immigrants, however they settle, represent added strength to Israeli society.”

President Hussein has sent a very serious peace feeler to Rafsanjani to neutralize the Iranian front as part of his turning to the Arab world. Always the opportunist, he wants US Navy ships out of the Persian Gulf, even though their introduction there, at a time when Iran had the upper hand, decisively signaled to Khomeini that the US would not permit him to win his war with Iraq and set in motion an Iranian search for face-saving terms upon which to bring the debilitating conflict to an end.

An Appeal to Anti-Americanism
Saddam Hussein's appeal now is to anti-Americanism. He surely did not expect Egypt (which receives a grant of $2.3 billion from the US annually) or Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states (who are dependent on the US for protection against Iranian imperialism) to agree to levy economic sanctions on the US. But he did get all attending to agree to a summary statement for the summit that condemned US support for Israeli policies of "aggression, expansionism and terrorism.”

Saddam Hussein has made an impressive start in advancing, for better or worse, a strategy of confrontation -- a strategy with teeth -- as a vehicle for his claim for as much primacy as possible for himself and Iraq among Arabs. His thrust, however, is deeply compromised by the hostility that exists between him and President Assad of Syria, who would not even attend the summit.

In his competition with Assad, however, Saddam Hussein holds a potential trump card. He is a Sunni Moslem, and Sunnis constitute 80 percent plus of the Arab world. President Assad might have neutralized this factor had he broadened the base of his government. After 20 years of Assad's rule, however, his fellow Alouwites, adherents of a sect that, like the Shi'i, parted from Sunni Islam centuries ago, occupy virtually all of the seats of power in Syria, where the population is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim.

If he is realistic, Saddam Hussein cannot occupy the role once held by President Nasser, not only because the Iraqi strongman cannot match Nasser's aura of devotion to Arab nationalism, but also because, among other things, Baghdad is not Cairo. Egypt remains, by far, the most populous Arab nation state.

Despite all, not only the United States but Israel and, most importantly, the Arabs themselves take President Hussein's thrust quite seriously. He and his ideas have come a long way, particularly in the last two months, with the open defiance by the Shamir government of US efforts toward a negotiated peace. Saddam Hussein will go a longer way if the US suspends the peace process totally and if Israel continues its intransigent stalling. At that point, the Arab people (given the example of what populism has accomplished in Eastern Europe) may turn to him, or at least to the dream of military confrontation he personifies, and, as a result, away from the peace process and against the Arab leaders identified with it.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Two Sets of Congressional Rules: One for Israel, One for All Others

Marshall, Rachelle. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 7.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218792955?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

It is no longer news that Congress follows two sets of rules when it comes to foreign policy -- one for Israel and another for the rest of the world. Most recipients of US aid are expected to at least pay lip service to foreign aid regulations prohibiting human rights abuses, exploitation of labor, nuclear proliferation, and military aggression, but Israel violates them all without losing a penny of aid.

There's no mystery behind this special treatment. Jumping through hoops for campaign contributions is an old Washington tradition, and as Parker L. Payson wrote in the June issue of Washington Report, pro-Israel PACs have already given nearly $2 million to candidates for the 102nd Congress, most of whom are incumbents, and have another $4 million yet to be distributed.

New Precedents for Inconsistency
But recent congressional actions have set new precedents for inconsistency. On June 6, for instance, the House voted 390 to 24 to forbid easing trade restrictions on the Soviet Union until the Soviets end their economic blockade of Lithuania and enter negotiations aimed at securing independence for the Lithuanians. This is the same Congress that, hoping to scuttle US-PLO peace talks in Tunisia, voted to require the State Department to confirm every 120 days that the PLO has not engaged in terrorism. So legislators who fervently support negotiations to achieve Lithuanian independence are at the same time trying to undermine peaceful negotiations with Palestinians seeking independence, and lavishing funds on an Israeli occupation force that has killed more than 900 Palestinians since 1987.

When State Department official John H. Kelly informed Congress on May 24 that the PLO was living up to its commitments, his report was "immediately branded a whitewash by influential members of the House of Representatives," according to The New York Times. Leading the pack to discredit the report were Tom Lantos of California (who received $38,950 from pro-Israel PACs) and New York's Benjamin Gilman ($33,400).

After the abortive May 30 raid on Israel by 12 Palestinians in two speedboats, opponents of continued talks with the PLO were in full cry. B'nai B'rith and the Zionist Organization of America demanded an immediate end to the talks. Legislation calling for their suspension was promptly introduced by four Senators, Frank Lautenberg (DNJ), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Connie Mack (R-FL), and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), whose combined receipts from pro-Israel PACs totaling $376,572 have been documented from Federal Election Commission reports compiled by Washington Report editors.

In a June 9 article, New York Times correspondent Thomas Friedman cast light on the eagerness of pro-Israel forces to end US contacts with the PLO. He reported that this dialogue had enabled the United States to persuade Yasser Arafat to agree to negotiations on Shamir's limited peace plan. According to Friedman, "Some American officials believe that the main reason Mr. Shamir wants the dialogue severed is precisely because it will mean no Palestinians will come to the table and he will therefore not be under any pressure to negotiate with them." Israel's congressional supporters obviously see raising the issue of terrorism as the best means of carrying out Shamir's wishes.

The Bush administration is clearly dismayed by the prospect of ending the last hope of a negotiated peace, but given the restrictions imposed by Congress, Bush had no choice but to threaten to end negotiations with the PLO unless Arafat explicitly denounced the May 30 raid and expelled its leader, Abul Abbas, from the Palestine National Council. The PLO initially responded by condemning "any military action that targets civilians," but refused to be more specific. Arafat himself has pointed out that "The PNC has to decide on Abul Abbas, not me." PLO officials said off the record that Arafat could not appear to be allowing the US to dictate PLO internal affairs. Arafat is already vulnerable to charges that so far his concessions to the United States have brought no progress toward peace, while Washington continues to give all-out support to Israel.

Nevertheless, the Bush administration said it was "disappointed" by the PLO statement and would continue to press for Arafat's explicit condemnation of Abul Abbas before agreeing to continue talks with the PLO. There are several ironies in the US position. The first is that if the United States ends the dialogue in Tunis it will only prove that violence pays off. It will reward Palestinian extremists who, like their Israeli counterparts, oppose negotiations. Meanwhile, Bush has turned his back on those Palestinians who have steadfastly called for peaceful efforts to end the conflict.

At the time of the guerrilla raid, 40 of these moderate leaders were taking part in a hunger strike to appeal for a UN investigation of increasing Israeli brutality in the West Bank. In what seems to be an inexplicable blunder inconsistent even with its own rhetoric, the US government's response to this appeal by moderates within the Israeli-occupied territories was to veto an otherwise unanimous Security Council resolution that called for just such a UN investigation.

There is further irony in the fact that a bungled invasion by a handful of Palestinians should arouse so much horror among the same congressmen who had cheered when the United States invaded Panama in order to arrest one drug trafficker, and left 200 civilians dead and thousands homeless.

Israeli Terrorism on a Daily Basis
Finally, what is obscured in the outcry over Palestinian terrorism is the harsh truth that the Israeli government practices terrorism against Palestinians on a daily basis. On one day in May, after an Israeli civilian killed 7 Palestinian workers, Israeli troops killed at least 15 more, including a five-year-old girl. In the same month, two Israeli soldiers were given suspended sentences for burning a 13-year-old Palestinian boy with lighted cigarettes. On May 17, the Save the Children Fund of Sweden, funded by the Ford Foundation, issued a 1,000-page report accusing Israel of" severe, indiscriminate, and recurrent violence against Palestinian children," and pointing out that most of the 159 children shot to death by Israeli troops between 1987 and 1989 were not even near a protest demonstration. The report said that over 50,000 children had been beaten or severely injured during the intifada, but its grimmest finding was that the Palestinian children in Israeli prisons were "subjected to sensory deprivation, death and rape threats, violent beatings and other brutal assaults.”

Such fragmentary evidence from a single month is enough to suggest that Israel's rule by force over 1.6 million people (at least 10,000 of whom are in prison) goes beyond terrorism and is in fact armed warfare against an unarmed civilian population. The indifference shown by Congress to the suffering of the Palestinians, and its blind support of the Israeli government, provides the most serious obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

Many Americans, including Jews, were alarmed at the recent formation of an ultraright wing government in Israel, pledged to retain the occupied territories and expand Jewish settlements. But in the end, no Israeli government can carry out its program without continued US support. So instead of wringing our hands over what is happening in Israel we would do better to concentrate on what is happening in Washington, where our elected representatives are being paid handsomely to obstruct the peace process.

Until campaign financing laws are changed, only a powerful effort by citizens, churches, peace groups, and human rights organizations can counterbalance pro-Israel PAC contributions and convince Congress that using US economic leverage to bring about negotiations leading to a just peace in the Middle East is to everyone's interest.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



An Autonomous Kashmiri State Would Bridge the Present Gulf Between India and Pakistan

Khan, Rafique A. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 8.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796510?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Kashmir continues to be the cause of a widening division between India and Pakistan. The two countries, established in 1947 when the British Empire lowered its colonial flag in the Indian subcontinent, have since fought three wars and are now on the brink of a fourth.

The United States is in a unique position to prevent this and bring stability to the region. The opportunity is clear. What is doubtful is our will. Speaking to the floor of the US Senate recently, a senator described US policy on Kashmir as "a weakly worded paragraph issued at a State Department noon briefing." Weakly worded paragraphs are what I, a Kashmiri American, also receive from our government officials in response to my appeals that the US play a constructive role in resolving the crisis.

A Poisonous Dispute
The dispute over Kashmir, a princely state under the British Raj most of which was annexed by India in 1947, has poisoned relations between India and Pakistan. India occupies two-thirds of Kashmir; Pakistan the rest. The dispute has been at the UN since 1947. In the UN, India, Pakistan and the permanent members of the Security Council agreed to let Kashmiris decide their own future by a United Nations-supervised plebiscite. This pledge remains unfulfilled.

Frustrated by the failure of 40 years of their peaceful struggle, some Kashmiris have now taken up arms. Today's youth, brandishing kalashnikovs, are the same youth who manned the polling stations during elections when massive vote frauds, perpetrated by the direct involvement of India, made a mockery of the election process. The Indian government propagates democracy but has not practiced it in Kashmir. It attempts to label the uprising in Kashmir as a movement against secular interests by Islamic fundamentalists. In reality, this movement is a nationalistic movement. It started in 1931 as a struggle against a feudal order. It continues now as a struggle against foreign occupation and violation of human rights.

"Kashmir massacre turns heaven to hell," is how a British reporter captioned his Jan. 25, 1990 news report of the killings of unarmed Kashmiri demonstrators by Indian soldiers. The demonstration was a spontaneous uprising against human rights abuses the previous night, when the soldiers made house-to-house searches.

Since that day Kashmir has been under continuous curfew. All foreign reporters have been expelled. Based on sketchy news reports from Kashmir, it is apparent that the uprising is widespread. A United Nations observer station in Srinagar is flooded with petitions. As many as a million people come out on the streets demanding freedom during the occasional breaks in curfew. The Indian government is determined to crush the uprising. It has put its army in complete control. The governments of Prime Minister V.P. Singh in India and of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan blame each other for the crisis in Kashmir. To match the rhetoric of their respective opposition parties, they accentuate their own. Such rhetoric, if unchecked, can trap the countries into their fourth war.

India and Pakistan have governments headed by leaders who came to power by democratic means. Their power bases, however, are loose coalitions of competing interests. In Pakistan, the army seems to be in real control while the government is weak and ethnic strife is weakening its ability to govern. The opposition will continue to undermine the fragile coalition.

Fragile Coalitions
In India, Prime Minister Singh heads a coalition government which includes a fundamentalist Hindu party. This party is crucial to the Singh coalition's survival. Kashmir is a Muslim majority area. The Singh government must subjugate Kashmir to appease the Hindu fundamentalists and to discourage similar separatist movements against India's secular character among other groups or in other areas. Indian leaders assert that Kashmir must remain with India to avoid India's balkanization.

The government of India needs to understand that the national aspirations of Kashmiris cannot be suppressed by military force. We all need to learn a few lessons from recent upheavals in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

The winds of change that are reshaping the political geography of our globe give the US an opportunity to exercise its moral leadership to bring stability to the Indian subcontinent. But recent statements by Senator Daniel P. Moynihan and Congressman Steven Solarz, chairs of Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs subcommittees, appear to have been made more to please their campaign contributors than to extend US national interest.

Cleverly Worded, But Meaningless
Absent any leadership in Congress, administration officials are content to hide behind cleverly worded and meaningless statements. These statements call upon the governments of Pakistan and India to resolve the Kashmir dispute by negotiations under the Simla accord, an accord by which the two countries agreed to resolve bilateral issues by negotiations.

The Simla accord accepts without prejudice the respective positions of the two countries on Kashmir, calls for a final settlement of the Kashmir dispute and also accepts the principles of the United Nations Charter for international relations.

Kashmiris assert that the Kashmir dispute is not a territorial dispute but concerns the right of their self-determination, a fundamental human right. They point out that India simply refuses to discuss the issue of self-determination of Kashmiris and maintains that Kashmir is an integral part of its union.

Kashmiris have for four decades relied on American understanding of their aspirations. By keeping to the sidelines now, the American government is making it possible for radical militant forces to take leadership in Kashmir. If the US does not facilitate a quick solution to the Kashmir struggle through negotiations, the forces that oppose negotiations will gain momentum.

These are forces of turmoil which the two fragile coalition governments of India and Pakistan will be unable to contain. By exerting its leadership role, the US could ensure the survival of the democratic movement in Kashmir, and allow it to take deep roots in the subcontinent. By our inaction, the interests of the democratic forces in the region, and global American interests, will suffer.

The current crisis in Kashmir is an opportunity to make Kashmir an autonomous area: a neutral demilitarized Kashmir, composed of the areas now under occupation by both Pakistan and India, with open borders to both. For most of its history, Kashmir was a sovereign state. The population of Kashmir, ten million, is more than the individual populations of over 100 independent countries of the world.

Kashmir's land area, 85 thousand square miles, is more than the individual areas of over 70 free nations of the world. An autonomous Kashmir will relieve tensions in the region and, over time, help India and Pakistan forge ties with each other based on economic and cultural needs.

The present governments in India and Pakistan are not in a position to take a bold initiative. Working with the Singh and Bhutto governments on one hand and the permanent members of the UN on the other, the US government is the only world power which can lead in bringing about this change, a change which will make Kashmir a bridge for cooperation between Pakistan and India.

Until the Kashmir issue is resolved, there will be no peace in the subcontinent. Unless there is peace, the two democracies in the subcontinent, which together constitute one-fifth of humanity, may not survive. We certainly have the opportunity to act in the interest of humanity. In question, however, is our will.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

null


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Israel's Religious Militants and their Disdain for Muslims and Christians

Halsell, Grace. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 10.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218798300?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

A few years back when in Jerusalem I visited a so-called "religious school" where militant Jews had been trained, it appeared to their Arab neighbors, in sadistic methods of how best to torment the Palestinians.

After I climbed the steps to the offices of the Jewish yeshiva, located in the heart of the Muslim quarter of the Old City -- and in close proximity to the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque -- I encountered a Jew who told me his name was Joseph and that he was born in New York.

Like so many of the most militant orthodox Jews I have encountered, the US native was an authority on God as a real estate broker. Joseph said God had given all of Jerusalem and Palestine to him and other Jews, and that all the Palestinians would have to leave.

The Palestinians of course protested the militant Jews being in their midst, there in the Muslim quarters, but the Western world that supports the militant Jews by supplying them with dollars and weapons paid no heed to the confiscation of Muslim property.

It was only last April when the same militant Jews from the same yeshiva moved into the Christian quarter of the Old City, and laid siege to a Christian edifice that Christian voices of outrage were heard.

An Assault by Fanatics
Indeed, the militant Jews, many of them from the United States, had been blatant in laying siege to a church-owned complex -- St. John's Hospice -- located near one of the most sacred of all Christian sites, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

One hundred and fifty armed Jews moved into the Christian quarter -- singing and clapping and accompanied by heavily armed Israeli police. Removing the engraved insignia of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate (that owns the building), the militants installed their own Star of David.

Reflecting on this assault by Jewish fanatics, I have tried to imagine the reaction by the West, including the White House, as well as the Jewish organizations here and elsewhere, had Muslim or Christian militants laid siege to a synagogue, claiming that God told them to do it.

Initially, Shamir and his government denied any involvement. But later they admitted that they had transferred nearly $2 million in Israeli government funds through Panama to enable the Jewish settlers to "reclaim" land from Christian Palestinians.

As for the Israeli government's support of the militants' siege of a Christian edifice, the Jewish-owned New York Times as well as the World Jewish Congress cried "for shame." The outcry brought a removal, at least temporarily, of some of the Jewish settlers from the Christian hospice, although 20 remained behind, and the Israeli police prevented the former Christian occupants from returning.

Tax-Free Donations
Meanwhile, few Jewish-owned media in the US have criticized and few Jewish organizations have investigated the groups that continue to solicit American tax-free donations to send to Jewish militants. Many, such as Menachem Bar Shalom, are dual US-Israeli citizens who regularly shuttle between New York and Jerusalem in their efforts to "reclaim" all of the Old City as their own.

These dual citizens funnel tax-free dollars to a yeshiva, Ateret Cohanim, for use in militant confiscation of buildings and homes in the Old City. They annually hold fund-raising dinners in the United States.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, former ambassador to the United Nations, was guest speaker at a May 23 dinner, at the New York Hilton, where American Jews were urged to write checks for as much as $5,000 for the "Jerusalem Reclamation Project" (now dubbed JRP).

According to published reports in Israel, such dinners last year raised $2.35 million for Jewish acquisition (reclaiming) of Muslim and Christian property in Jerusalem.

The Jewish militants who staged their assault last Easter on Christian property so loudly and blatantly, with an impressive array of armed settlers as well as armed Israeli guards, obviously wanted a "media event," and they got it. But why did these militant Jews stage an event that many analysts would consider counter-productive? After all, it is "Christian America" that supplies billions of the dollars that annually go to the Jews of Israel.

The Jewish militants acted, I believe, to show their disdain, even hatred, for Christians and Christian holy places and Christian symbols.

Israel Shahak, the brilliant Israeli scientist and activist in the cause of justice, told me that militant Orthodox Jews "are taught to hate the Christian." Such militant Orthodox Jews, he said, are enjoined, when passing a nun, whose costume often includes a large cross suspended from a long necklace, to "spit on the cross.”

Orthodox Israeli Jews, Shahak continued, "hate the cross so much they have eliminated the universal mathematical `plus' sign because, they say, it resembles a cross. They have substituted a new one -- that does not resemble a cross." Seeing my disbelief, Shahak left me momentarily and returned with a book of mathematics, pointing out the Israeli "plus" sign that bears no resemblance to a cross.

Such extreme measures of disdain and hatred would merit little comment if they were limited to "religious" circles. But the hatred, as we have seen, is manifest in the Israeli government-protected confiscation of property and the torment and murder of Palestinian Christians and Muslims.

The actions by militant Jews seem aimed to demonstrate to the world that so long as the Israeli government controls all of Jerusalem, they can and will act with impunity against Muslims or Christians living in the city. The fact that the Western media said little or nothing about Jewish militants taking Arab Muslim properties in the Old City, but gave at least passing notice to the seizure of a Christian edifice, demonstrates that they are at least half correct in their assessment of Western sensitivities.

Professor Noam Chomsky, a noted American Jewish scholar, writes that Israelis act deliberately to provoke such turmoil as we have just witnessed in Jerusalem. Israel's "secret weapon" against the United States is that it may act even more irresponsibly, he maintains, as a "wild country, dangerous to its surroundings, not normal, quite capable of burning the oil fields or even starting a nuclear war.”

Perhaps, as first Europeans and now, perceptibly, Americans, tire of Israel's seemingly perpetual war with its neighbors, the deliberate attack by militant Jews on a Christian edifice reflects the "collective version" of Samson's revenge -- "Let me perish with the Philistines" -- as he brought down the temple around them all.

The Israelis, in using their "secret weapon," seemingly have to keep the US government eternally fearful that they will "go crazy" unless whatever Israel wants, Israel gets. With the Bush administration, after a year of cautious Middle East activism, now seemingly paralyzed in the face of Yitzhak Shamir's open refusal to take any step toward peace with the Palestinians and Israel's Arab neighbors, it appears that this is an Israeli "secret weapon" that works.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Halsell, Grace
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Shamir Stonewalling and US Vacillation Puncturing the Bubble of Peace

Levin, Jerry. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 11.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218792899?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

During the first heady months of the uprising, Palestinian society inside and outside the occupied territories was transformed by an energizing optimism that allowed many to dare to dream that peace with independence would be realized in the not-too-distant future. Inside Israel, peace advocates, if not transformed, were at least energized to new levels of hope and often cooperative acts of respect for and solidarity with their West Bank and Gaza neighbors.

By the end of the first year, the US had launched an historic dialogue with the PLO. It appeared to many that the talks in Tunis represented the crossing of an important threshold on the way to peace from which there would never be any turning back.

But two and a half years after the Palestinian uprising began, neither peace nor two states are just around the corner. Not even meaningful peace negotiations are around the comer. Instead, there are worries that the region is drifting into war. What happened?

A Growing and Pervasive Disunity
In the Middle East, a pessimist is described as an optimist with information; and many whose hopes for a just-around-the-comer peace settlement were originally quite high now have accumulated a body of dispiriting facts that point to more somber conclusions. Discussions and interviews with a variety of officials and specialists on recent trips to the region indicate that a major reason is disunity -- profound, pervasive, and growing disunity within nearly every national element involved. The disunity is fed by a combination of old and emerging sociological, economic, political and spiritual factors capable of thwarting moves toward consensus or compromise not only in Israel and the Arab world, but in the United States too.

Israel not only remains divided as to how peace with Palestinians and other Arabs is to be defined and achieved, but also over the place of peace on Israel's scale of national priorities. These days, peace talks are not number one. The new governing coalition has agreed that the main priority is absorption of arriving Soviet Jews and protecting settlers in the occupied territories -- not peace talks. Instead the Shamir government has vowed to expand and build new settlements in both the West Bank and Gaza. With resourceful hardline right-wing politicians like Ariel Sharon, David Levy, and Moshe Arens in key ministerial positions, it is clear that the government means business.

The PLO is openly divided. Some reluctant faction leaders like Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader George Habash, who believe militancy would be the better course, are nevertheless being good soldiers and following Palestine National Council (PNC) policy. But others, like the more extreme Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) leader Mohammad Abul Abbas, whose commando strike at an Israeli beach may or may not have had a terrorist intent, is a tail that threatens to wag the PLO dog by fatally affecting dialogue with the United States and the political approach that Yasser Arafat still champions.

Nor are Palestinians in the occupied territories unified. Now some moderate leaders, who have stressed nonviolent defiance, are admitting that their day may be drawing to an end. Professor Hanan Ashrawi, an articulate Beir Zeit University educator and a familiar figure on the peace dialogue circuit in the US, was quoted in mid-June by The New York Times as saying, "It is perhaps time for us to step down and say, `Look, we have done our best and it didn't work.'“

If they should abdicate their restraining role, what then? A young Palestinian man from Nablus told me, "Look, I don't like violence. I do not like terror. So I would not hurt Israeli civilians. But I think the time has come to kill their soldiers when they come to the West Bank and Gaza." A Palestinian journalist friend, however, disagrees. Despite the fact that he spent his childhood living in tents in refugee camps, and his family has not been able to have a reunion in years because he, his four brothers, and father have never all been out of Israeli detention camps at the same time, he insisted, "We must wait. Abul Abbas is not our friend. He does us no favors. We are making friendship with more and more Israelis.”

The rest of the Arab world continues to be divided on this issue. With the fundamentalist genie out of the bottle in a number of nations, however, old line leaders whose regimes are clearly threatened are warning that it could be difficult for them to support or promote negotiations based on either of the present day Arab negotiating formulas: joint Palestinian-Israeli talks facilitated by Egypt and the US, or an international peace conference involving all relevant parties.

Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan described the problem in early June as "how to make the logic of peacemaking more credible. The real danger today," he said, "is fundamentalism: Jewish, Muslim, Christian.”

"Peace," he agreed, "cannot be achieved by intimidation." But, clearly worried that time is running out, he referred to recent words by his brother, King Hussein, "`We can't continue to play a balancing role while the extremists continue to score off of us.'“

Finally, disunity in the United States is reflected in the growth of a peace sentiment in the US embracing Palestinian nationalist aspirations to counter Israel's right-or-wrong lobby, and in the schizophrenia this more vocal movement has induced in this administration.

President Bush's and Secretary of State Baker's actions seem to be mainly motivated by domestic pressure rather than by any firm ideological or humanitarian convictions. Now that the pro-Palestinian voice in the US is getting louder, the administration finds it necessary to at least appear to be more evenhanded than in the past. And at times it has been. But of the many faces that Bush and Baker show the world, the AIPAC-induced personality still seems the most dominant.

The result for more than a year has been US-encouraged diplomatic misadventure on behalf of the Shamir-Rabin "election proposal" that, clearly, was not proposed to end occupation but to perpetuate it. The PLO, it is said, was persuaded in part by Egypt and the United States to help try to breathe life into the idea on the chance that, once underway, the narrowly limited talks might take on a life of their own. Thus they might -- only might -- eventually be of considerable benefit to the Palestinians.

When pressed, however, Shamir predictably backed away from his own so-called peace process, and his unity government broke down. Now back in power, it appears that he is trying to back all the way out.

A dramatically exasperated Secretary of State Baker complained, rather belatedly, to a congressional committee that a good faith, affirmative effort was lacking from Israel. That was a tactically sound domestic move for Baker, successfully diverting attention away from his own to-date unsuccessful strategy. Inadequate to begin with, it facilitated Shamir's intransigence. The Secretary really was crying over milk he helped to spill.

A considerable portion of the American population, confusing sound with substance, was thrilled by Baker's tough-sounding challenge to Shamir: "When you're serious about peace, call us." But in the Middle East, especially in the Arab world and within Israel's peace movement, where American peacemaking credibility continues to sink, Baker's complaint was taken with more than a grain of salt.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Cartoons (Shamir/Lemming drags Israel over cliff)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Levin, Jerry
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Reflections From a Classroom in Jaffa

White, Patrick. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 16.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218780947?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

I have lived by the sea for most of my life, so Jaffa presented itself as a splendid opportunity to get away for a few days' break from the depressing tedium of daily life during the intifada on the West Bank. We had a very short break between the intensive, off-campus eight-week teaching sessions and I knew I was always welcome at the Freres College Jaffa, where Israeli Arab, French and Spanish De La Salle Brothers teach Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews under the same roof and in the same classes.

Part of one morning was spent in the classes. The principal, Brother Henri, an Israeli Arab, invited me to his English class with the sixth grade. The 20 11-year-old boys and girls were cheerful, vibrant and eager to learn. More than half of the students were Israeli Arab Muslims. A smaller proportion were Christians. There were Israeli Jewish children too, all happily together, sharing a school environment in what appeared to be a relaxed and formative atmosphere.

Quadrilingual Learning
Introductions were made. The principal said I was a Frere from Bethlehem. Cheerful cries: "He's an American!" Then, "No! He's English because he's white," brought an amused glance to the eyes of Brother Henri as he asked the questions. So the lesson began. It had been explained to me that all the students wrote and spoke fluent Hebrew and Arabic and that the core classes in their French-system curriculum were conducted in French. As the lively little minds raced away, discussing the five Shakespearean plays they had read in their English readers, I was amazed to find they were speaking fluently and intelligently in their fourth language.

As the lesson developed and some of the English vocabulary was unfamiliar, they were asked to give the equivalent words in French, Hebrew or Arabic.

It was an extraordinary experience to visit a class of five-year-olds being taught French in an exciting manner by an Israeli Jewish woman, while next door a Christian Arab taught Hebrew and further down the same corridor a very pleasant Muslim young man was instructing a class of Muslims in the Koran. At the same time, classes conducted in French were dealing with mathematics and science.

At the end of the morning session, young Christian Arabs voluntarily attended a Mass conducted by the local Franciscan Arab parish priest. I discovered later that over half the staff were Israeli Jews, some of whom lived quite close to Bethlehem in the outer suburbs of Jerusalem.

The environment I found in the classes composed of Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs (who consider themselves to be Palestinians also), made me reflect on the reality in Israel proper. Jews are accepted as full citizens of the state of Israel, but Israeli Arabs are clearly second-class citizens. (In the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, the legal status of the Palestinian Arabs diminishes to that of "alien residents.")
A Painful History
Walks throught Jaffa and along the coast revealed the contradictions of the present and the painful history of the port town. Part of the town near the sea is refurbished, a tourist and dining center for people from Tel Aviv. In the open park on the hillside adjacent to the historic harbor was a sign in Hebrew and English purporting to relate the history of Jaffa. It was an obviously narrow interpretation of history based on such items as: "British destroy housing in Jaffa 1936." "Jaffa liberated 1948." Subsequently, when I was taken around the town and shown the derelict buildings and open wasteland where housing once stood before the exodus of nearly 80,000 Arabs from the town in 1948, I had to ask myself who liberated whom?

A closer look at the town and the seafront revealed some of the effects of the dramatic takeover by Israelis of Arab Jaffa in 1948. On park benches, lying under hedges, and sleeping in parked cars in back yards were young men from Gaza. These were the road sweepers and dish washers of adjacent Tel Aviv, and some of the many thousands of laborers employed by the Israels in the building sites. These were the poorest of the poor, who could not return to the refugee camps on the Gaza Strip either because of curfews or strikes.

Many of these humiliated men were from families who before the "liberation" of 194 8 used to live in Jaffa or in the towns and villages on what is now the coastal plain of Israel. Local inhabitants told me that often they would allow these men to sleep in their back yards or gardens. Frequently, I was informed, all they ate for their daily food were small quantities of pita bread, hommus and water. I was assured by Israelis that although it was illegal for these residents of Gaza to spend the night in Israel, the local police turned a blind eye. This did not tally with what I saw on my second morning. Police on horseback were rounding up men from Gaza and placing them in police vans and trucks.

The Young Men of Gaza
On Friday afternoon there were several buses lined up to take men back to Gaza. Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari wrote about these men in their book, Intifada. The two talented Israeli journalists claim those mainly responsible for the initial outburst of the intifada were not the Palestinian politicians or the Palestinian students, as is often widely asserted, but these young Gaza Palestinians.

It was Gazans like these, waiting to be hired to work by the day in the Israeli town of Rishon Lezion, south of Tel Aviv, who were gunned down by a 20-year-old "deranged" Israeli ex-soldier. As an ironic result, when I returned to the West Bank there was a complete general strike for several days. Nablus, Ramallah, the Gaza S trip and most of the refugee camps elsewhere were under strict curfew. The arbitrary curfews imposed on Gaza simply sparked further massive demonstrations.

At the time of writing it would appear that the hospitals in Gaza have received over a thousand casualties. In addition to the seven or eight killed in Rishon Lezion, a further 12 Palestinians died in two days in Gaza. Also, as I write, news is difficult to obtain because of curfews and the imposition of restricted military areas. There are widespread demonstrations not only in the occupied territories, but within Israel itself and across the river on the East Bank in Jordan.

Locally I visited the nearby Christian village of Beit Sahour, already celebrated for its tax revolt last December, which resulted in Israeli soldiers confiscating and trucking away everything from home television sets to stocks of medicines in the village pharmacies. The previous night, the 21st of May, the soldiers had gunned down 22 young men. I saw some of the wounded concealed in various houses. One teenager lies critically wounded in the hospital.

The young men had been ambushed by Israeli soldiers who entered the village in the evening disguised in track suits and t-shirts, and carrying concealed automatic weapons under their arms. The Palestinian youths, who were burning tires but not throwing stones, were simply gunned down with live ammunition without warning. It was a well planned premeditated trap.

Later I stood in a basement room of a home where a boy had been shot through the knee. His mother and baby sister sat on the bed. The mother's first reaction, as she saw me entering, was to display an utter hatred and savage contempt for me.

We had hoped that the universities on the West Bank and Gaza would be opened in the near future. What has happened over the last few days will make this highly unlikely. People I talk to are desperately depressed and concerned for the future. Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari predicted that the intifada might spill over into Israel and Jordan, where the Israeli Palestinian Arabs and Jordanian Palestinian Arabs would join the uprising. That now appears to be taking place.

I am somehow sickened by the prospect of a bloodier and more violent confrontation, when the opportunity for both the Palestinians and the Israelis to discuss a peace with justice could be negotiated. This opportunity, inexorably slipping away, lends poignancy to memories of my visit just a few days ago in Jaffa to the sixth grade class of 11-year-old Israeli Arab Muslims and Christians and Israeli Jews. There they discussed, with their unimpeded youthful clarity, their perceptions of good and evil, friendship and enmity, mercy and revenge in the Shakespearean drama unfolding before them.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author White, Patrick
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



As Middle East Drifts Toward War, Heedless Congress Rushes to Adjourn

Wamsted, Dennis J. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 17.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218815803?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The Summer Slumber
Although the 1990 congressional elections are still four months away, Congress is rushing toward a scheduled October 5 adjournment. With only eight weeks remaining on the congressional work schedule, a host of important issues remained unresolved. Congress had completed work on virtually none of the government's 13 appropriations bills. Nor had House and Senate conferees finished legislation reauthorizing the Clean Air Act -- a bill that both parties considered must-pass legislation.

Consequently, barring unforeseen developments, initiatives focusing on the Middle East are likely to take a back seat for the remainder of the 101st Congress. The only exception to this generalization is foreign aid. Money for this program will very likely be included in the fiscal 1991 budget, with the broad outline of the program and the amount of aid earmarked for Israel and Egypt largely unchanged from years past.

Campaign Finance Reform: Election Year Casualty
Attempts to reform the congressional campaign finance system will almost certainly fall victim to this congressional adjournment rush, despite the initial progress made by the Senate. (See the May 1990 Washington Report for complete details.) When reform legislation was first brought to the Senate floor, the issue quickly dissolved into partisan bickering that will likely doom any reform efforts until the next Congress convenes in January.

Although both parties agree that major reform is needed, particularly with regard to the political action committees (PACs) that have so distorted US Mideast policy, the two disagree completely on the preferred alternative. The Democrats, who would be seriously hurt by PAC contribution limits, advanced a plan calling for public financing of congressional elections. The Republicans, who can generally tap into a larger base of wealthy individual contributors, put forward a plan that would prohibit PACs and sharply curtail out-of-state fund raising, while boosting the role of the two national parties.

The fate of the legislation now largely rests with Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine), who has said previously that he views campaign finance reform as a priority issue. According to congressional aides, unless Mitchell pushes the issue personally, as he did the clean air legislation this winter, the legislation will remain stalled.

Further complicating the outlook is the virtually complete lack of action by the House, where the legislation remains in committee. Congressional staffers have said previously that the House will act on the reform proposals once the Senate passes a bill. But, given the shrinking calendar, even if the Senate did enact reform legislation, it is highly unlikely that the House could follow suit. In short, barring a Mitchell-inspired miracle, congressional consideration of campaign finance reform will have to await the 102nd Congress.

A Quiet Sale To The Saudis
In sharp contrast to recent proposals, the administration put together and proposed a $4 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia this spring that is expected to gain congressional assent. The proposal includes:

- 2,000 TOW anti-tank missiles;
- more than 1,100 light armored vehicles manufactured by GM Canada;
- 27 M198 155-millimeter howitzers;
- M88A1 tank recovery vehicles that are built by BMY Corp.; and
- upgrades, manufactured by Boeing, for the AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) surveillance aircraft sold to the Kingdom in 1981.

The proposal was formally submitted to Congress in early June. Following that submittal, Congress had 30 days to pass a resolution of disapproval. If Congress does not act within that period, the sale becomes official. When the administration informally notified Congress in May of its intent to make the sale, no serious objections were raised.

While additional sales are unlikely this year, in part because of the congressional calendar, this initial sale may pave the way for other sales in the year ahead. In particular, according to the Washington newsletter Defense Week, the administration is negotiating with the Saudis on a sale of up to 700 M1A2 main battle tanks that could be worth billions of dollars.

Iraq Bashing
One of the issues on the congressional calendar is reconciliation of legislation aimed at controlling technology exports to countries producing chemical or biological weapons. Clearly aimed at Iraq, and apparently without much consideration given to enforcing it against Israel as well, the bill was passed by the House last year. The Senate, however, did not complete consideration of the proposal until late May. During the Senate's consideration of the proposal, several senators, led by Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY), offered a series of amendments designed to punish the Iraqi government. In years past, D'Amato's suggestions might have been approved without debate. This time cooler heads prevailed.

In essence, D'Amato proposed to ban trade with Iraq by levying a 100 percent duty on Iraqi imports, including crude oil, and rescinding Iraq's most favored nation trading status with the US. This initiative was blasted by Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole (R-KS), who traveled with a delegation of five members of Congress to the Mideast earlier this spring, where he met with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"Let me just indicate again the issue is not whether Saddam Hussein is developing chemical weapons," Dole told his colleagues in a speech on the floor. "He makes nobones about it. He says he is. He does not intend to use them unless there is a first strike, nuclear strike, and then he would retaliate. He said, what would you do if you are attacked by some country? If there is a nuclear strike in the United States, what do we do? It is not even the fact that we deplore the development of chemical weapons. And we are offended by his rhetoric at times.

"I think the issue is, does this get us what we want in Iraq on chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons or anything else? And the answer is, it does not.”

Dole's plea for caution was backed by a number of other senators. Surprisingly, among them was Howard Metzenbaum (DOH), one of the Senate's most outspoken supporters of Israel. "This senator believes that Saddam Hussein should be given an opportunity, a reasonable period of time, to see whether or not he is prepared to take that first step on the road to peace in the Middle East," the Ohio Democrat said. Metzenbaum urged his colleagues to oppose D'Amato's proposal, saying: "I think it could be counterproductive. I think it could create a greater schism between Iraq and the United States and in doing so make it that much more difficult to bring about peace in the Middle East.”

Quotable
In the days and weeks after the attempted attack against Israel in late May by Palestinian guerrillas, senators and congressmen from both sides of the aisle assailed the Palestine Liberation Organization and its chairman, Yasser Arafat, for failing to live up to its earlier promises, and called on the Bush administration to reconsider its dialogue with the group. Following the failed attack, Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole (R-KS) also delivered a speech on the Senate floor. But his words were vastly different than those of his colleagues.

Dole, who has been increasingly outspoken on Mideast issues over the past year, called on all the parties to the conflict to renew their efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the problem. The Kansas Republican, while criticizing the PLO, also scored Israel and its leadership for indecisive, counterproductive policies.

Excerpts of Dole's speech, delivered June 6, appear below:

"Finally, to the leaders of Israel, I say again: The paralysis of your policy, and the occasional excesses of your administration of the occupied territories, hurts Israel more than anyone else.

"It is time to seriously re-examine the question of whether you have done all you should do to minimize the violence inthe occupied territories.

"It is time to re-think your settlement policies in the occupied territories; grand principles about freedom to settle are important and fine -- but there is a real world out there, which -- no matter how the questions of sovereignty are resolved -- cannot truly be home to settlers from any nation, or group, until there is real peace.

"It is time, above all, to get your political house in order, so that a strong effective Israeli government can make rational decisions on the peace process that will be in Israel's long-term interest.

"...the events of recent days teach again a lesson that the leaders and people of the Middle East must soon heed -- time is running out. Soon, there must be a decisive move toward peace, or a gradual -- or perhaps not even so gradual -- drift toward renewed violence and war.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Wamsted, Dennis J
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Why 95,000 Americans Should Support Expanded Mideast Trade

Moses, George. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 19.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218780814?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

There's a story about the late Governor George Wallace's first trip to Washington in which, it is said, he stepped onto the Mall, looked at the various government buildings, and blurted out the question: "What do all those people do?”

One of the things they're supposed to do is manage our trade relations with other nations. For many reasons, that's been a particularly difficult job lately. Even giving our trade bureaucracy and policymakers credit for effort, however, there is room for substantial improvement in our trade posture.

The people responsible for trade policy have to face a lot of difficult problems, not the least of which is: How do you make trade issues sexy enough to interest citizens so oblivious to what's going on around them that large numbers don't even send in their census forms? Summer's here, school is out, the beach and mountains beckon, and a recession of truly monumental proportions is looming.

So what, you ask, does all this have to do with American Middle East policy?

How about 95,000 American jobs per year?

That's one way to quantify the trade deficit we ran in the Middle East from 1987 to 1989. Chart #1 shows the volume of trade we have with 20 Middle East countries for those years, which totals more than $33.3 billion in exports and $44.7 billion in imports. With a three-year deficit of $11,377.2 billion, or an average of $3,792.4 billion per year, we are shipping abroad enough money to finance about 95,000 American jobs annually.

As the chart makes clear, the nominal deficit is attributable almost entirely to the shortfall of sales in the Arab world. Trade figures with Israel show a balance between imports and exports, although this balance is achieved to a large extent by artificially balancing supply and demand between the two countries to achieve that policy objective. For purposes of comparison, a country-by-country breakdown of these figures is provided in Chart #2.

The pop economists swiftly respond that this trade deficit is caused primarily by the need to import oil from those gouging Middle East producers, and that if we just had energy self-sufficiency, our trade deficit would just melt away.

Unfortunately for these glib theoreticians, wishing for the "good old days" of absolute economic independence (which never existed) will not create them. Trade relationships are all about economic interdependence, and we have entered into these relationships all over the Middle East. Our Middle East trade deficit differs significantly from our deficits in Asia and Europe, where America's chief problem is producing the right kind of product and marketing it effectively, sometimes over strenuous government opposition. In the Arab world, US products are highly prized, and governments encourage their purchase. To the extent that our trade in the region is hurt, it is by self-inflicted wounds.

What these charts tell us is that we need to stop getting in our own way when it comes to increasing our sales to the countries with which we are already doing business.

We know that these customers have money. Unlike many of our trading partners in Eastern Europe and Latin America, most Arab states can afford to pay for what they want. Further, we know from numerous trade delegations and other public and private efforts that they want to trade with us.

The proof is in Chart # 3, which shows the ratio of US exports to US imports in the Middle East, country by country. These figures reveal the startling fact that we have a favorable balance of trade with 17 of the 19 states surveyed. The artificially maintained US-Israeli balance is almost exactly even.

The bad news is that the unfavorable balances are with Saudi Arabia and Iraq, the first and third largest trading partners among the Arab states. Thus, although we have a favorable balance with 89 % of these countries, overall we buy more than we sell by a four-to-three margin. And that margin, measured in jobs, is about 95,000 per year.

Obviously, this is more than we can afford. The US must improve on this performance, and the federal government must minimize its role as part of the problem. For example, we seem able to afford $1.25 million annually to fund an effort within the Commerce Department to ensure that US companies do not comply in any manner with the Arab boycott of Israel. We therefore should be able to fund, without pulling political teeth, some serious trade promotion efforts, such as participation in the Saudi Arabian standards formulating process, which would improve US sales to every Arab state in the oil-producing Arabian peninsula and Gulf.

As soon as possible, we must make some sound economic as well as political decisions about trade in the Middle East. Already, the time of Arab businessmen is being taken up with visits from Japanese and Korean delegations. More and more often, the European stopover of these same Arab businessmen results in orders which never get to American factories. It is not too late to build on our natural and historical advantages and resuscitate the once-thriving US-Middle East trade relationship which, at present, is slowly being stifled.

But we had better start soon.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Chart (US-Middle East Trade 1987-1989)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Moses, George
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Israel's "Massive Censorship”


Jones, Nathan. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 24.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784802?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Betselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, has issued a 40-page information sheet documenting what it calls "massive censorship" by Israel of the East Jerusalem press. The 40-page study also points out that such "Draconian" Israeli censorship is being applied in a discriminatory manner, and in violation of previous Israeli court decisions which found freedom of expression a "preeminent right" except where censorship is "truly required" for security.

Americans accustomed to the cliche that Israel is "the only working democracy" in the Middle East generally are dismayed to learn that it has no constitution and that its "democracy" works best for those who are Jewish. The most blatant religious discrimination occurs in the occupied territories, where the protections of Israeli civil law are applied only to Jewish residents, and harsh military measures deprive non-Jews of virtually any legal protections.

Some Are More Equal Than Others
Discrimination also applies in Israel itself, where Christians and Muslims are barred by various covenants from owning property or working in more than 90 percent of the country. Even in the few areas open to ownership by non-Jews, requests for building permits, land improvements, or improved facilities are generally denied or delayed if submitted by Muslim or Christian individuals, companies or municipalities, but expedited if submitted by Jews.

This pervasive discrimination also applies to press censorship. Western media, quick to criticize censorship in other Third World countries, seldom report restrictions on their own operations in Israel, and virtually never acknowledge the suffocating restrictions imposed upon their Palestinian colleagues.

For all practical purposes, television cameras were banned from the West Bank and Gaza in April 1988, four months after the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada. To make sure television cameras would not record the widespread disturbances, the Palestinian information bureau in East Jerusalem, which was alerting journalists to breaking events within the occupied areas, was closed and some of its personnel arrested. To control the activities of print media journalists, occupation authorities impose curfews or declare towns, camps or villages where problems are reported a "closed military area.”

This latter tactic is also applied in East Jerusalem, which the Israeli government claims is part of Israel proper since its unilateral "annexation" after the 1967 war. That is why Americans see virtually no television footage from the West Bank and Gaza, areas in open insurrection, and very little from East Jerusalem.

Exceptions to the Rule
Exceptions were the "hands around Jerusalem" demonstrations at the end of 1989, in which Israeli peace activists, Palestinians, and European and American supporters linked hands and completely surrounded the Old City until their peaceful manifestation was broken up with fire hoses and truncheons. Another exception was a demonstration by Christian clergy against Jewish" settlers" occupying St. John's Hospice in the Christian Quarter, only steps away from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The demonstration arose spontaneously in an area heavily frequented by Western tourists and pilgrims. Jerusalem police broke it up with tear gas, however, and then effectively cordoned off the entire area both from protestors and the media.

Journalists in Israel are subjected to other less visible forms of censorship. Their reports must be passed through government censors, who frequently remove material they deem unfavorable. For example, for years any discussion of Israeli Jewish emigration was taboo. Now, reports concerning disposition and movements of the current influx of Soviet Jews into Israel are censored.

Such restrictions applied to foreign journalists by Israel are minor when compared to those applied to the Palestinian Arab press publishing in East Jerusalem.

Betselem's 40-page information sheet, dated February-March 1990, contrasts official Israeli government treatment of the Hebrew and the Arabic language press under the "Defense Emergency Regulations of 1945." These regulations authorize censorship of material "likely to be or become prejudicial to the defense" of Israel "or to the public safety or to public order.”

Betselem found that of 621 reports, photos and cartoons submitted to censors by two Palestinian papers, Ash-Shaab and Al-Bayader As-Siyassi in the time period monitored, 228 items were censored. Of the censored items, 28 percent had been taken from the Israeli press, 31 percent from the foreign press, and 46 percent from news agencies.

By content, 45 percent of the reports on intifada incidents were censored, as were 52 percent of the articles on the PLO and 18 percent of the articles on the peace process.

Specific items censored included a Dec. 20 translation by the Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds of an interview carried in the Hebrew daily Al-Hamishmar with an Israeli passenger who survived when a Palestinian passenger seized the wheel of an Israeli bus and plunged it into a ravine. The survivor said that he would like to go to Tunis to speak to Yasser Arafat personally, "as someone who almost was killed in the intifada yet still wants to live with yesterday's enemies as tomorrow's allies.”

Censoring the Pope
Another item censored from the same Arabic newspaper was a Dec. 25 quotation by Pope John Paul II referring to "the Palestinian people" who still "have no homeland or state in which they can feel like citizens with full rights." Also censored from Al-Quds was a report translated Jan. 4 from the Hebrew-language newspaper Ha'aretz about Amnesty International's criticism of Israel for shootings of Palestinians.

Also censored was a cartoon submitted Jan. 10 by Ash-Shaab of Nelson Mandela wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh headdress, captioned "the chains will soon be broken"; a report submitted by At-Talia newspaper quoting the Israeli occupation commander in Gaza's description of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute as an "existential conflict" requiring "patience"; and, ironically, a Dec. 19 report taken from Reuters by Al-Quds on the first anniversary of the establishment of Betselem, and findings from Betselem's 1989 human rights report. Betselem noted that censorship powers are seldom applied to the Hebrew press, and are regularly invoked against the Arabic press. Censored items include purely political reports, statements by Israeli officials, and reports by human rights organizations. The censorship, as well as the Israeli government's press licensing authority, is applied in a negligent and arbitrary manner, Betselem charges, and violates the principle of equality before the law.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Jones, Nathan
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Once Prosperous Lebanon Facing Mass Exodus of Young People

Larwood, Elaine. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 25.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218815714?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Inveterate traders, the Lebanese have learned to do business and make money with whatever is at hand. If rents are too high, they set up shop on the sidewalk. If the electricity is cut, they sell generators. If a tiny money-changing establishment gets too cramped, they buy a bank.

The free enterprise system in Lebanon is more than free; it is virtually unregulated, with little government interference. This laissez-faire environment was at the base of the country's famous prosperity in the 1950s and 1960s. Talent and capital from Arab countries, then undergoing political and social upheavals, poured into Lebanon. Then came oil money from the Gulf states. It was a rich mixture. No one knew why it worked, but it did.

When a Belgian financial expert came to advise the government in the late 1940s, he looked at the situation and told the Lebanese officials to "not change a thing." It was clear, even then, that the country was at the right place at the right time.

The Lebanese today have not lost their mercantile abilities, but their environment is no longer so friendly. Fifteen years of war, at a cost of $15 million each day, have battered the very brick and mortar of the country's infrastructure. An estimated $62 billion in gross national product has been lost since the war started in 1975!
Revenues Don't Even Cover Interest
The Lebanese pound was worth about 43 US cents (LL2.30 to the dollar) at the beginning of the conflict. Fifteen years later, in June 1990, it hit an all-time low of LL690 to the dollar, barely equal to a sixth of a penny. Government revenue is so low it doesn't even cover interest on the public debt, and the state budget for 1990 shows a 64 percent deficit. Inflation has reached alarming pro-portions as the money supply continues to rise. Money in circulation has doubled 55 times in the last six years.

In the past 18 months, two brutal conflicts, the 1989 "War of Liberation" and the inter-Christian struggle in East Beirut this year, have together added another $6 billion to the reconstruction agenda already drawn up.

Damage in the Christian enclave has been estimated at more than $1 billion in four months of fighting. This includes millions lost when oil and gas reservoirs burned, ignited by shellfire. Hospitals have sustained over $20 million in damage. Thousands of homes have been destroyed or made unlivable. It will take $750 million to rebuild Lebanon's power plants, money the government hopes will be provided by Arab aid.

Production Down 80 Percent
Industry has been severely hit. Damage to factories and installations amounts to at least $500 million and production is down by 80 percent in East Beirut, where 60 percent of the factories are located. The owner of a plastics factory in East Beirut is operating at 10 percent of capacity. Before the fighting started in January, business was "booming" and he was scheduling 24-hour shifts to meet the demand.

Agriculture, mostly practiced away from urban centers, has been less disrupted, although internal distribution of fruits and vegetables has suffered.

In the Bekaa Valley, for years a center for hashish cultivation and distribution, the illegal crop is no longer paying its way. The Lebanese wars, plus the international crackdown on drugs, have made transport and marketing hazardous. Most of last year's harvest is still stored unsold in attics and back rooms. Growers are privately saying they may have to go back to convential crops.

Even more significant than material loss, the bitter fighting has brought with it a crisis of hope. Fed up with the serial wars, dismal I lying conditions and with prospects for more of the same, Lebanese are leaving their country at a record rate.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry puts total emigration since March 1989 at 800,000, a phenomenon that is depriving the country of valuable human resources as well as the $700 million in "refugee capital" the emigrants have taken with them.

Prime Minister Salim Hoss, a Sunni Muslim, has described the long-term effect of this mass exodus as "dangerous." Christian leaders worry about the very survival of their community in Lebanon. While most of the recent emigrants are Christians from East Beirut, people from all areas, especially the young, are leaving.

Ali lives in Beirut's southern suburbs. In his thirties, with a wife and four children, he finds it hard to support his family despite his relatively high income of $400 a month. (The minimum wage is LL45,000 or about $65.)
"I don't see any hope," he says. "It is time for us to go." He intends to sell his land, his business and his apartment and move to Canada, where he hopes to run his own gas station.

"If I feel safe, I can work," Ali said, recalling the long bouts of shelling he and his family have endured. "I'm ready to work 15 hours a day if necessary.”

Jamil, who works as a sales manager for a big international corporation, finds the current situation the last straw. "Maybe I could manage, but how about my baby daughter?" Jamil is busy raising the dollars he needs to begin a new life in the US.

George is a bank employee in West Beirut with a young wife and son. For him, leaving Lebanon means giving his children a chance in life. "Here, there is no future for them," he said, echoing the fears of many parents in Lebanon. When he and his family go to Montreal it will be with few possessions, no job and no contacts. "I am afraid," said his wife, who has never been out of the country. "But we have no choice.”

The Lucky Ones
These people are the lucky ones in the view of many who remain. An estimated 400,000 more people are said to be ready to leave, given the means and opportunity to do so.

For most Lebanese the disaffection comes from lack of security, the disintegrating economy and the breakdown of services such as water, electricity and telephone.

With every family responsible for obtaining its own water and electricity, a lot of extra time and money is being lost. One man estimated that it cost him the equivalent of three days a week to get water delivered by truck to his home and office, maintain his generators, buy fuel for them, and ensure a supply of bottled drinking water. In normal times, these municipal services would cost about LL5,000 ($7.20). He now pays LL112,000 ($162) for the same things.

Almost all observers agree Lebanon's economic problems are largely political, a product of fragmentation and war. "Give us peace," said the newly elected President Amin Gemayel in 1982, "and we will again astound the world.”

In the absence of peace, financial planners have had to content themselves by looking beyond the current dismal indicators to the country's fundamental assets: an energetic and sophisticated population and the determination to survive. More tangibly, they point to Lebanon's "very adequate" gold and foreign currency reserves.

"The economy is still sound and stands a good chance of recovery," according to Dr. Abdel Shakour Shalaan, a senior International Monetary Fund official. He attributed the survival of Lebanon's economy to a constant flow of foreign exchange from both Lebanese abroad and, ironically, from outside powers pumping money into the conflict. Lebanese expatriates possess as much as $20 billion in holdings abroad, Dr. Shalaan added.

Even the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in its gloomy 1989 annual report describing Lebanon's worst-ever financial year, concluded with an expression of confidence.

"The economic situation...has not yet reached a state of total despair because the foundations of our economy are still sound and our people still have faith in their country and its ability to start again.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Larwood, Elaine
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Soviet Jews Pushing Israelis into Territories

Shahak, Israel. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 26.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218795219?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The whole world, including the United States and the Soviet Union, is formally demanding that the Soviet Jews, now arriving in Israel in large numbers, not be settled in the occupied territories. In my opinion, however, this is not the major question, except as it pertains to their settling in East Jerusalem, which is proceeding very rapidly. Leaving aside the question of Jerusalem, what is important is how Jews will influence the settling of the territories by other Jews.

Soviet Jews coming to Israel are not actually settling in the territories and are not likely to settle there. This is because they constitute an urban group that is used to and prefers to live in big cities. They hate communism and anything resembling it.

This means that they hate regimentation and compulsion, and desire to experience the delights of freedom and free choice in their everyday lives. In the USSR, they were assigned apartments by the arbitrary decision of bureaucrats, while in Israel their desire and delight is to choose and to rent them by themselves.

This they can do relatively easily in the cities of their choice within Israel, since they and they alone receive from the Israeli government and The Jewish Agency a sum of money equivalent to $300, and in some cases $400, per family per month for rent, together with the agent's fee.

"Settling Agency" Assigns Flats to Soviet Jews
On the other hand, one cannot go around and look for an apartment to rent in the territories. The settling of Jews there is also a bureaucratic process, just as in the USSR. A "settling agency" determines to which settlement one will be sent, and assigns a particular flat to each settler.

Some Soviet Jews call this process communism," and they may not be far from wrong. As one who has heard a group of newly arrived Soviet Jews exclaiming "Oh, we're in Paradise!" on entering my own supermarket in West Jerusalem, I am sure it would be very difficult to compel them to live in places which do not offer such sights. If we add their desire for other urban amenities and their fear of the intifada, we must conclude that their settling in the territories is quite improbable in the foreseeable future.

However, the present Israeli government wants to settle many Jews in the territories even more than the former one did. It can use the Soviet Jewish immigrants to accelerate the process, but in an indirect, and much more dangerous, way.

The subsidies given to Soviet Jews for their housing raise the price of housing for young Israeli-Jewish couples to impossible heights. They do not receive any subsidies for rent, and only a very small one for buying a house. If the process is not opposed, the subsidies to Soviet immigrants will force more young Jews presently living in Israel to settle in the territories in order to find alternative housing.

"Why are We Being Pushed There?”

In fact, in Jerusalem, where the highest housing incentives are granted to Soviet Jews, a new organization of young Jews was founded in May to oppose this process. One of the organization's leaders, Moshe Zion, said in a June 8 interview in Jerushalaim:

"The Prime Minister said that the new immigrants will not be compelled to live in the territories. So why are we being pushed there? This is, in fact, the only housing option left to us. In the territories they give (to Jewish settlers) mortgages up to 95 percent of the value of an apartment, while here (in Israel) they allow us only ridiculous ones.”

In fact, some mortgages for Jewish settlers reach 100 percent of the value of housing, and are interest free, while mortgage conditions inside Israel become steadily worse. Moshe Zion and other leaders of this organization cite cases where Israeli landlords raised rents and threw out Israelis to make space for Soviet Jews.

For many ordinary hardworking Israeli couples, a rent of $400 per month or normal mortgage payments are completely impossible. Very soon, many young native-born Israeli Jews will face three choices: homelessness; emigration, preferably to the US, encountering great difficulties in the process; or settling in the territories, whether they want to or not.

If the intifada is smashed, something which the Israeli authorities are trying to achieve as rapidly as possible, the chances of settling the territories with ordinary native Israelis are very high indeed. Their places in the Israeli cities are being taken by Soviet Jews.

I believe that is actually the plan of the Israeli government. It was put into operation about a year ago, and is shared both by Likud and Labor. I also believe that the chances of its realization are quite high, partly because of the divorce from reality by the Palestinian leaders and their consequent escape into the area of slogans.

This settlement plan will surely result in the total blocking of any remaining chances for peace. It still can be opposed effectively, but only if the social and political realities in Israel and the territories are understood. We must oppose all settling of the territories, and especially the process, by which all Jews, particularly Israeli Jews, are attracted by benefits available only to settlers.

Our aim must be to provide reliable information to the American public. They are paying the cost of the Israeli settlement process, while America's homeless do not receive even a fraction of the benefits given to the Jewish settlers in the territories. We must together demand a halt, and indeed a reversal, of the whole settlement process. This can be done best by demanding a stop to all the financial benefits involved in it.

Soviet Jews are only a minor part of the settling. The money which Israel gets, and which it can use for any purpose, is the most important factor. If its flow continues, increased settling by other Jews will result in war, even though the Soviet Jews, themselves may not settle in the territories.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Shahak, Israel
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Cold War or Not, Middle East Remains Key US Security Concern

Dunn, Michael Collins. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 27.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218780869?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Do the changes in Eastern Europe and the emergence of Europe 1992 mean the US and the Soviets will now put the Middle East on the back burner? The evidence seems otherwise in the case of the US, for whom several vital interests remain at stake.

The Arab-Israeli issue will no longer be the subject of superpower rivalry, and the US therefore may be less willing to continue its current levels of support for Israel and Egypt. But the growing US dependency on imported oil means that the Middle East, which contains virtually all of the world's proven oil reserves, remains a vital interest of the United States and its allies, even in an era of reduced international tensions.

A Clearer Assessment
In fact, one result of the decline in international tensions may be a clearer assessment of the value of US friends in the region, based upon legitimate national interests and not through an assumption that the US must automatically support any country opposing the Soviet Union.

Among legitimate US interests in the Middle East which transcend, and will survive, the Cold War rivalry is access to the Middle East's oil. Not control, but access.

Another is the security of the sea lanes in the region, since these preserve not only American, but the entire world's access to Middle Eastern oil. Without seeking to be a world policeman, the US continues to have an interest in helping responsible regional states to defend their own sea lanes and freedom of navigation.

The importance of the Gulf's oil to the world is increasing, not decreasing. Although world oil prices have slumped somewhat, this is due to temporary oversupply, not long-term glut. The Gulf oil fields account for 65 percent of the world's known recoverable oil reserves. The United States accounts for only 2.6 percent. The Gulf also has perhaps 70 percent of the world's excess production capacity, so that as the world demand for oil grows, the Gulf is best positioned to meet it. US officials have said that the Gulf's share of total crude oil production, now around 25 percent, could rise to nearly 50 percent by the end of the decade.

The US, too, is increasingly dependent on low-priced imported oil. In 1989, foreign oil made up 42 percent of US requirements. In January of this year, it surged to 54 percent. This year the Gulf states will account for some 15 percent of US consumption, or 28 percent of all imports. By the end of the decade, that figure could rise to 37 percent.

While the Iran-Iraq shooting has stopped, the war has not been concluded. Prisoners remain unexchanged, troops unwithdrawn from disputed territory. While neither belligerent seems to have an interest in restarting the war, the Gulf is not yet a fully secure place.

Other causes for concern for the West in general are the growing independence movements of the Soviet Muslim republics. Already Soviet Azerbaijanis and Iranian Azerbaijanis, Soviet Tajiks and Afghan Tajiks, have talked of making common cause. If the Soviet Empire really comes unraveled, as some anticipate, new players could well emerge along what used to be called the "Northern Tier." The notion that Soviet "new thinking" will end instability in Southwest Asia is a naive one. In fact there may be far more changes than could otherwise have been anticipated.

The Importance of Access to Oil
Of traditional US" vital interests" abroad, security of the Middle East oil fields seems the one most certain to survive political transmutations in the East Bloc. US Middle East policy was never primarily dictated by the Cold War, but by the need for continued and safe access to oil.

Current changes in the world, however, might make the United States less willing to tie its genuine interests in the Gulf to other regional disputes in the Middle East. US security interests in the Gulf have long been linked to Israeli security concerns, largely because of the domestic political clout and widespread sympathy which Israel has long enjoyed in the US. But the argument that Israel is a key "strategic ally" has lost its impact in the absence of a superpower confrontation. Soviet arms shipments to Syria have already been reduced. South Yemen, long the Soviets' one Marxist-Leninist client in the Arab world, has merged with North Yemen and is talking about free elections.

Ironically, both Arabs and Israelis express alarm about the changes in the East Bloc and what they will mean to the region. Arab states recognize that they have lost longtime friends and supporters in Eastern Europe. They also fear Israeli talk of settling Soviet emigres in the occupied territories. Israelis, on the other hand, recognize that they can no longer count on an automatic "anticommunist" reaction to secure economic and military support from Washington.

If the Israeli-Palestinian issue and the Gulf issues become separated from the old anti-Soviet slogans, it will be easier for the US to pursue its very real interests in the Gulf while continuing to support Israeli security, only within the context of forward movement towards negotiations.

What is certain is that while the role of the US in the Middle East may change, the US cannot turn its back on the region. Oil prices, virtually everyone agrees, will begin to rise during the 1990s, and some major oil fields outside the Middle East will begin to play out. (Continuing disruption in the oil fields of the Soviet Union could also affect supply; the troubles in Baku have set some alarm bells ringing in the oil markets.) Growing world dependence on the Gulf's oil supplies, an apparently unstable Iran, and the possible emergence of new Islamic states along the rim of the Soviet Union all may keep the pot boiling.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Dunn, Michael Collins
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Presbyterian General Assembly's Middle East Resolution

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 29.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218798225?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Full text of Peacemaking and International Relations Resolutions pertaining to the Middle East and adopted at the 202nd General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church, held June 1990 in Salt Lake City, UT
Whereas the 1974 General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church and the 1984, 1987, 1988, and 1989 General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (USA) have affirmed that "the right and power of Palestinian people to self-determination by political expression [based] upon full civil liberties for all [people], should be recognized by the parties in the Middle East and by the international community..." (Minutes, 1984, Part I, p. 338; 1987, Part I, p. 418 in "A Theological Understanding of Christians and Jews"); and
Whereas, in the same documents, the Presbyterian Church (USA) has affirmed that "the right and power of Jewish people to self-determination by political expression in the State of Israel, based upon full civil liberties for all, should be recognized by the parties in the Middle East and by the international community;" and
Whereas, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestine National Council have declared willingness to live in an independent state in peace alongside the state of Israel and have denounced terrorism in statements by the Palestinian National Council, Nov. 12-15, 1988; and by Yasser Arafat speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland, on Dec. 14, 1988; and
Whereas, indications are that the Palestinian people have a clear desire for autonomy that includes an independent state on the West Bank and Gaza; and
Whereas, the state of Israel has refused to recognize the right of the Palestinians to choose their own representatives; and
Whereas, the state of Israel continues to block the free and democratic choices of the Palestinians by military occupation, administrative detention (8,500 as of Dec. 8, 1989), and deportation; and
Whereas, the state of Israel continues to respond to the Intifada with repressive actions such as the killing of Palestinians (823 as of Dec. 8, 1989), the demolition of houses (1,225 as of Dec. 8, 1989), uprooting trees (77,698 as of Dec. 8, 1989), forced curfews, and armed military patrols; and
Whereas Palestinian violence against other Palestinians is apparently on the increase; and
Whereas, there is a legitimate fear on the part of many Israelis of annihilation by armed Arab aggression and acts of violence against Israeli citizens; and
Whereas, as Palestinian universities and colleges were closed by the Israeli Defense Forces subsequent to the start of the uprising, and study and makeup exams in alternative locations were prohibited, and the increase of military restrictions on education at all levels subsequent to the beginning of the Intifada was unprecedented; and
Whereas, the closures of primary and secondary schools violate several international laws, including: the "Right to Education" section of the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949 for the Protection of Civilian Persons in the Time of War; the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural rights; and
Whereas, the United States continues to support the state of Israel monetarily with grants in excess of $3 billion a year (more than $8.2 million per day); and
Whereas, the church needs to continue to increase its awareness of the complex dynamics of the situation and affirm all peoples involved; and
Whereas, the Gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to be peacemakers;
Therefore, be it Resolved That the 202nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) 1990 reaffirm the position taken at the 196th General Assembly (1984) and subsequent assemblies regarding the Israeli-Palestinian situation, and
1. Commends the Palestine Liberation Organization led by Yasser Arafat for its advocacy of a Palestinian state living in peace alongside the state of Israel and for its denunciation of terrorism;
2. Calls upons all Palestinians to implement that denunciation in practice and to refrain from all acts of violence directed against civilians;
3. Calls upon the Arab nations to recognize the right of Israel to exist within secure borders as defined by the UN Security Council Resolution 242, and to offer to negotiate a comprehensive peace settlement that would be inclusive of Palestinian self-determination;
4. Condemns the state of Israel's continued use of force and repressive measure son the West Bank and Gaza;
5. Asks the state of Israel to negotiate with whomever the Palestinian people choose to represent them (including the Palestine Liberation Organization);
6. Asks the government of the United States to encourage the state of Israel to negotiate with representatives of the Palestinians' own choosing;
7. Encourages the Congress of the United States to make continuation of US aid to the state of Israel contingent upon an end to further settlements in the occupied territories, and an end to human rights violations as enumerated by the US State Department in its Annual Report;
8. Calls upon the Israeli government to permit the reopening of all colleges and universities, and to assure the continued uninterrupted operation of all levels of educational institutions;
9. Supports the request of the World Council of Churches for financial assistance to the educational institutions financially imperiled by Israeli policy;
10. Encourages the government of the United States not only to honor its current obligation but to increase its support of UN organizations that are assisting Palestinians, such as the United Nations Refugee Works Administration, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization, and the World Health Organization;
11. Directs the appropriate Ministry Unit to publish and make available study materials expressing the church's concern for the people in the Middle East and their relations with each other;
12. Requests the US State Department to designate 10 percent of all appropriated aid for Israel to be used exclusively for the educational, medical, and economic benefit of Palestinians in the occupied territories, such as to be administered on behalf of the Palestinians by the appropriate United Nations agencies;
13. Directs the stated clerk to communicate this resolution to the president of the United States, the governments of all the Arab states and Israel, appropriate members of Congress, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and the heads of United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, United Nations Refugee Works Administration, Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Anglican Church Comes Under Fire

Dirlik, John. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 32.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218798188?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Jewish community leaders have sharply criticized the Anglican Church of Canada for the third time in as many months. Early this year, the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) described as "anti-semitic" sections of a Sunday school curriculum used by Anglican parishes across the country. The material cited, entitled "Rasha's Story," was an optional lesson telling of the blinding by Israeli soldiers of a Palestinian girl in the occupied territories. It was juxtaposed with the biblical conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees over the healing of a blind man. The lesson asked children to "name the kinds of blindness you can discover in their story.”

The CJC complained that this juxtaposition implies that the moral blindness of both biblical and modern day Jews drives Israel literally to blind innocent Palestinian children.”

Brian Prideaux, ecumenical officer of the Anglican Church, the third largest Christian denomination in Canada, agreed that the lesson "could foster prejudice toward Jewish people." He wrote in a letter to all parishes using the curriculum that "the analogy drawn between religious blindness and political blindness is tenuous at best and is probably beyond the grasp of young children." After the Anglican Church asked its parishes to remove the lesson, however, the writers of the independently produced curriculum defended its inclusion.

"Rasha's Story" is factual and provides a lesson for all peoples, said editor Jane Morehouse. "If you only read the end of the lesson, the implication is that the Jewish people are spiritually blind," she explained. "But if the whole lesson is read, the implication is that all of us who believe in God and justice are being spiritually blind (toward Palestinians).”

The dust had barely settled when CJC again attacked the Anglican Church, this time for an Easter message in which Archbishop Michael Peers urged Anglican clergy "not to let guilt toward Jews" silence them about Palestinian suffering. The archbishop, recently back from a fact-finding tour of the Middle East, expressed his kinship with the indigenous population -- the "living stones," of the Holy Land, as opposed to the inanimate stones of biblical sites favored by Christian pilgrims.

In his message circulated to parishes across Canada, the Anglican Primate acknowledged the historical "complicity of the Church" in the persecution of Jews, but reminded the clergy that it was "Europeans, not Arabs, who were responsible for the Holocaust." He urged that special attention be given to the plight of Palestinians who now live in "misery and oppression.”

Les Scheininger, president of the CJC, complained in a press release that while the archbishop recognized the history of Christian anti-Semitism, this had not sensitized him to the impropriety of such an offensive" Easter message.

The Jewish leader also criticized the archbishop for circulating with his message a prayer composed by Jerusalem church leaders. The prayer, read during Easter services, contained a clear reference to Palestinians: "Strengthen those who thirst for mercy and justice but have been deprived of the right to live in dignity...Free them from oppression; restore to them the right to live and to independence." In an equally obvious reference to the Israelis, the prayer read: "Free them from the illusion that depriving others of their rights will provide security or reaffirm self-identity.”

Archbishop Peers Rebuked Again
Only weeks after this second controversy, Jewish criticism again was levelled at the Anglican archbishop. This time it was over an April 20 speech at a church conference in Toronto in which he described the intifada as a largely nonviolent rebellion, decried the closure of Palestinian universities and expressed concern over the prospect of settlement of Soviet immigrants on Palestinian lands.

"Driving through the West Bank, for example, you pass brand new towns and settlements built for immigrants who have not yet arrived, while across the street stand squalid villages of Arabs who have lived there for centuries," Archbishop Peers reported. "The glaring contrast between the conditions of the two communities was the most eloquent testimony I saw to the vision the government of Israel seems to have for the future of the peoples under its control.”

In a sharply worded reply, Scheininger accused the archbishop of promoting an "Arab line" about Israel being engaged in a major initiative to resettle Soviet Jews in the territories, which Scheininger claimed was "untrue.”

"It is evident that you have fully thrown in your lot with the Palestinians, and, indeed, become their advocate," Scheininger wrote. He accused the archbishop of "Christian chauvinism," an uncritical acceptance of the Palestinian interpretation of events and having a "heart and intellect...closed to the views of the Israelis.”

A member of Canadian Friends of Peace Now -- an organization that opposes right-wing Israeli policies -- was also critical of the archbishop. Professor Abraham Rotsein, who attended the Toronto church conference, said that although he sympathized with Palestinian concerns over new settlements in the occupied territories, he wholeheartedly supported the right of Soviet Jews to move to Israel. "At the heart of Israel's very existence is its role as a homeland for the Jewish people," Rotstein said.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Dirlik, John
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Facts for Your Files: A Chronology of US-Mideast Relations

McMahon, Janet. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 39.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218795159?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

May 1: In Jerusalem, all but 20 militant Jewish nationalists vacated St. John's Hospice in the Old City's Christian Quarter under terms of a court order. Elsewhere in Israel, a district judge sentenced Rabbi Moshe Levinger to five months in prison for murdering a West Bank Palestinian, and Israeli officials reported that 10,500 Soviet Jews emigrated to Israel in April.

May 2: A Defense Department reconstruction of the chemical attack on Halabja during the Iran-Iraq war concluded that both countries had used chemical weapons there.

- Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad met in Damascus with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to seal their restoration of diplomatic ties, severed after Egypt signed the Camp David Accords in 1979.

May 3: President Bush said he was trying to encourage the release of American hostages by helping Iran determine the fate of four Iranians who disappeared in Lebanon in 1982.

- Leaders of Israel's Likud party and militant Jewish "settlers" celebrated the dedication of a Torah for a Jewish seminary to be located in the Palestinian Arab town of Nablus on the West Bank.

May 4: An Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed that, on April 28, a patrol boat fired shots at the royal yacht of Jordan's King Hussein, The spokesman said the Israeli vessel was conducting a "routine weapons check.”

May 7: Israel said it would not free the nearly 300 Shi'i militants it is holding in southern Lebanon unless several Israeli soldiers are freed in exchange.

May 8: Iraq's President Saddam Hussein said his country had obtained a secret American electronic detonator for nuclear weapons and now had the capability to manufacture the detonator itself.

May 9: The House Foreign Affairs subcommittees on Europe and the Middle East and on human rights held the first congressional hearing on Israeli human rights abuses and the intifada.

- The US and Iran announced a tentative agreement to settle some 2,500 small financial claims resulting from the 1979 break in relations following the Iranian revolution and the taking of US Embassy hostages.

May 10: Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Arens criticized the US for working with Arab states at the United Nations to draft a resolution opposing settlement of Soviet Jewish immigrants in the occupied territories.

- Arab countries agreed to hold a summit in Baghdad, prior to Soviet President Gorbachev's visit to Washington, to discuss the influx of Soviet Jews to Israel.

May 11: Former Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who is challenging Shimon Peres for leadership of the Labor Party, called on Peres to resign because of Peres' failure to form a coalition government.

May 12: President Saddam Hussein of Iraq proposed direct peace talks with Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

May 14: Jordanian police fired into the air to disperse thousands of demonstrators trying to enter the Israeli-occupied West Bank during a pro-Palestinian march.

May 15: Tunisian President Zinc El Abidine Ben Ali, on an official visit to Washington, DC, conveyed a message to President Bush from PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and raised the issue of Soviet Jewish settlements in Israeli-occupied territories.

- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, meeting in Moscow, signed an agreement condemning the settlement of Soviet Jewish emigrants in the occupied territories.

May 16: Swedish Save the Children issued a report accusing Israel of major human rights violations against children in the occupied territories.

May 17: Caretaker Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir received a 21-day extension from Israeli President Chaim Herzog to attempt to form a new government.

- US intelligence officials reported that two medium-range missile bases in western Iraq are operational, with rockets capable of reaching targets in Israel.

May 19: Egypt's Middle East News Agency reported that Israel has promised Egypt "that it will not be the first to attack any Arab state." Israel would not confirm the report.

May 20: An Israeli gunman dressed in army fatigues, described by the Israeli government as emotionally disturbed former soldier, after demanding the identity cards of a group of Palestinian day laborers, forced them to stand in line and then fired at them with his automatic weapon, killing seven and wounding ten. In the protests that followed, an additional eight Palestinians were killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli soldiers.

- US special envoy Robert M. Gates met with Pakistani officials to urge an end to the conflict over Kashmir, and was scheduled to meet with Indian officials as well.

May 21: The PLO requested the Bush administration to allow Chairman Yasser Arafat to enter the US to attend a United Nations Security Council debate on the latest violence in the Israeli-occupied territories.

May 22: President Bush extended condolences to the families of the seven Palestinians murdered by an Israeli gunman and urged the Israeli army to act with maximum restraint.

- The Republic of Yemen was officially created today with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic (North) and the Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen (South).

May 23: Secretary of State James Baker said the US would consider a plan to send a UN observer team to the occupied territories.

May 24: Foreign Minister Moshe Arens said that Israel "would not accept UN observers" in the occupied territories and that it expected the US to veto any such resolution in the Security Council.

- In testimony before Congress, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs John H. Kelly reaffirmed the administration position that the PLO has kept its promise not to engage in terrorism.

May 26: The US vetoed a Security Council resolution to send a UN observer team to the Israeli-occupied territories.

- The newly appointed governor of Kashmir, former Indian intelligence chief Girish Saxena, said he will continue to be "very firm" in dealing with Kashmiri separatists.

May 28: A pipe bomb exploded in an open-air Jerusalem market, killing an elderly Israeli and wounding nine others.

- In Sind Province, the home of Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, gunmen killed Sen. Moshin Siddiqui, a leading opposition member of Parliament, and at least 27 others.

May 30: An attempt to land 12 armed Palestinians on the Israeli coast in speedboats by Abul Abbas' Palestine Liberation Front, a splinter group within the PLO, was repelled by israeli forces.

- Arab leaders ending their three-day summit in Iraq denounced Soviet Jewish immigration to Israel and condemned US support for Israel's policies of" aggression, terrorism and expansionism.”

- India fired George Fernandes, its special troubleshooter on Kashmir, and disbanded an all-political-party commission on the troubled province.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author McMahon, Janet
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Trade and Finance

Haldane, John T. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 47.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218792842?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Qatar Pushing Huge Gas Project
Qatar has begun implementing long-term plans for an international gas pipeline distribution network in the Gulf region and for large exports of liquified natural gas (LNG) to the Far East, particularly Japan. The country is spending $1.3 billion on the first phase of developing the North Field. With an estimated 150 trillion cubic feet of reserves, this field is the biggest off-shore gas deposit in the world and should provide Qatar with revenues well into the next century.

The Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (QGPC) hopes to supply Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and possibly Saudi Arabia. The main market for QGPC gas is expected to be Kuwait, which could provide an outlet for as much as 1 billion cubic feet/day. Prospects also appear bright for sales to Bahrain, which will need additional gas supplies to meet future summer demand peaks, and Dubai, which is building a number of industrial projects beyond its own fuel supply capacity.

In addition to regional sales, Qatar hopes to sign up Japanese LNG customers. The QGPC has sent a number of high-level sales missions to Tokyo in the belief that the North Field's enormous reserves will give it an edge over established Japanese suppliers who are pushing to step up LNG deliveries during the 1990s.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council has agreed to invest $400 million in the first phase of the North Field. The QGPC advises that several other international groups are considering advancing approximately $700 million in loans.

US at '91 Dubai Aerospace Show
The US Pavilion at the Dubai '91 International Aerospace Exhibition, January 27-31, 1991, will be the first officially sponsored presence at this annual event and the first certified American pavilion at an aerospace show held in the Middle East. Although 18 US firms participated in last year's event, our embassy in Dubai complained that "the impact of their presence suffered because of the lack of a coordinated and effective marketing and publicity campaign.”

The aerospace exhibition held last year was the region's first combined civil and defense air show, the largest ever such exhibition in the Middle East, with 200 exhibitors from 24 countries and over 8,000 trade and professional visitors from 30 countries.

US exports of missiles, aircraft, engines and parts to the Middle East totalled $2.8 billion last year. Exports of civil and military aircraft, which amounted to $1.31 billion in 1989, accounted for 45 percent of total American exports to the region. Bahrain was the area's top buyer of American civil and military aircraft last year, importing $297 million of US manufactures.

Iraq Seeks Foreign Oil Financing
Iraq is planning to invite foreign oil companies to participate in financing the development of new oil fields, in a policy reversal which reflects the financial pressures facing the country after its war with Iran.

This move is expected to be welcomed by international oil firms which are interested in gaining access to new oil reserves as they find it increasingly more difficult to replace current production.

Mr. Issam Al-Chalabi, Iraqi Minister of Oil, said in an interview with Platt's Week, a leading oil journal, that a political decision had been made to permit foreign oil companies back into the country and that preliminary approaches already had been made to several firms. "Foreign participation will give us the option of increasing production without putting pressure on our finances," Al-Chalabi said.

The precise terms for foreign participation in Iraq remain unclear. Minister Al-Chalabi has ruled out the possibility of a production-sharing deal, an arrangement common in other countries and which international oil companies would prefer. However, Al-Chalabi said foreign oil companies would be paid for their investment with crude oil from the projects being developed and that actual arrangements may, after negotiations, closely resemble a production-sharing contract. Iraq is known to want to avoid any arrangement that hints at old-style oil concessions, which many developing countries regard as an infringement of sovereignty.

High on the list of areas to be opened to foreign participation is the 7-billion-barrel Majnoon oil field, close to the border with Iran. Development of this field, discovered only in the 1970s, was halted by the war with Iran. Other large fields open to foreign investment include Faya and Khor-Namala.

Iran Re-entering International Financing Community
The Iranian government has made a number of moves recently to re-enter the international financial community. World Bank missions visited Tehran in December 1989 and March 1990 to meet with Ministry of Finance officials and to collect economic and financial data from a number of ministries. President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani evidently is eager to secure World Bank assistance in financing some of Iran's $400 billion reconstruction and modernization projects. Relations with the World Bank were severed after the 1979 revolution but Mohsen Nourbakhsh, Minister of Finance and National Economy, recently has been working to improve Iranian ties with that institution. In addition, he is seeking to enlarge Iran's role in the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Iran resumed its payments to the Fund in late 1989. Next year Nourbakhsh will become chairman of the Group of 24, a grouping within the World Bank and IMF of developing countries.

According to Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has agreed in principle to provide funds for several Iranian development and commercial projects. The IDB also will permit Iran to bid on work for development projects to be undertaken with IDB funds in member countries. In 1989, Iran became the 45th member of the IDB, which provides trade and development financing to its member states. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya and the United Arab Emirates have a combined stake of about 60 percent of the group's capital. The fact that Iran was admitted as a member of the IDB has political as well as economic significance, given the past poor relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

OPEC Increases Market Share
The world oil production scene in 1989 was dominated by OPEC, whose total output of crude oil and natural gas liquids climbed by over 11 percent to an estimated 1.15 billion tons. This represented 37 percent of the world's total, compared with 34 percent in 1988.

This remarkable advance was made possible by strong demand in the industrialized countries and by an upward trend in developing country markets. During 1989, competing exports from the United Kingdom were severely impaired by North Sea accidents, the USSR reported a steep drop in production, and US imports rose steeply as domestic production continued to decline.

Middle East producers, mainly Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Iran, accounted for most of OPEC's increase. Other OPEC members with large increases were Libya, Nigeria and Indonesia.

Six OPEC members (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran and Venezuela) now have 70.5 percent of the world's proven oil reserves and 77 percent of the non-communist world's oil reserves. The five Gulf states alone account for nearly two-thirds of the world's proven reserves.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Haldane, John T
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Physicians Document Withholding of Medical Treatment

Nyhan, Sally Clark. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 50.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796559?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are being poorly treated by Israeli medical staff, according to a report released by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).

The Massachusetts-based group conducted trips to Israeli prisons in March 1989 and concluded that health services for incarcerated Palestinians were inadequate due to "distrust" between Palestinians and Israelis. PHR also reported that sanitation condition sat some of the military detention camps, particularly at Ketziot, violate the Fourth Geneva Convention; that lack of proper medical screening upon arrival resulted in lack of evidence for Palestinian claims of torture; and that health professionals in the Palestinian community were often the targets of administrative detention.

The PHR report, Health Care in Detention: A Study of Israel's Treatment of Palestinians, is based on visits to Israeli civil prisons and police station jails, as well as interviews with former prisoners, Israeli and Palestinian human rights advocates, and Israeli Defense Forces senior medical personnel. The delegation was refused permission to enter any of the military detention sites.

PHR cited numerous violations by Israeli prison authorities of customary procedures when their prisoners were Palestinian. Specifically, the Israeli civil prison system provides thorough medical questionnaires and screenings upon arrival, with a complete medical exam following within two to three days. Palestinian prisoners, however, are given cursory screenings, and may never receive medical examinations. In addition, prisoners' requests to see doctors are often delayed, sometimes by as much as three months, and few doctors speak Arabic.

PHR also reports that the number of Palestinians being held in administrative detention has strained the sanitation facilities of Israeli prisons. Water is in short supply and rigidly rationed. Prisoners often must sleep on the floor due to a bed shortage. In the Ketziot detention center, buckets were placed in the housing compounds for use as urinals.

Finally, PHR accused Israeli medical personnel of not" fulfilling their obligation to prevent physical abuse" of Palestinian prisoners. Detainees have reported many types of torture, including beatings, sleep deprivation, and forced standing for up to 24 hours. Palestinian prisoners also report a lack of concern among doctors assigned to them.

Copies of the report are available for $6 from Physicians for Human Rights, 58 Day St., Suite 202, Somerville, MA 02144.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Nyhan, Sally Clark
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Jewish Groups Call on Bush to Suspend Dialogue with PLO

Barron, Andrea. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 50.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784864?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The American Israel Public Committee (AIPAC), the powerful pro-Israel lobby; the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith; the American Jewish Congress and other Jewish groups successfully called on the Bush administration in June to suspend the US dialogue with the PLO. The demands followed the attempted terrorist attack against Israel carried out May 30 by the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), an extremist PLO faction headed by Mohammed Abul Abbas.

Addressing nearly 1,500 pro-Israel activists, in Washington for AIPAC's 31st annual policy conference, AIPAC Executive Director Thomas Dine lashed out at the PLO for refusing to condemn the PLF attack. "It is clear that Abul Abbas places terrorism above coexistence and the PLO executive committee has gone along with this thrust," he said. "The dialogue has failed. And the administration has no choice but to suspend it.”

One of the few Jewish groups which supports a continuation of the dialogue is Nishma, a Washington-based organization headed by Theodore Mann, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Mann joined Earl Raab, former director of the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council, and Henry Rosovsky, a former dean from Harvard University, in urging Secretary of State James Baker to "keep open an effective channel of direct communication to the PLO." Nishma said that, "despite its flaws," the dialogue "has proved to be a valuable channel for promoting ideas to advance the peace process.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Barron, Andrea
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Save the Children Accuses Israel of Violence Against Children

Nyhan, Sally Clark. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 50.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218798136?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The Swedish branch of Save the Children accused Israel of massive human rights violations aimed at children in the occupied territories, in a report issued in May.

The report blames Israeli military forces for more than 150 deaths of children aged 15 and younger. It accused the Israeli military of beating thousands of children under the age of five, and holding children in at least nine detention camps.

Save the Children compiled records of 159 child deaths and 7,107 beatings in the first two years of the intifada. The average age of children killed was 10. They estimate that between 50,000 and 63,000 children were treated for injuries during that period.

"Researchers for this report have documented indiscriminate beating, tear-gassing and shooting of children at home or just outside the house, playing in the street, sitting in the classroom or going to the store for groceries," the report concluded.

The Save the Children delegation studied 3,460 of the documented beatings and concluded that one-third of the children were under 10 years old, and one-fifth under the age of five. Nearly one-third of the children suffered broken bones.

"The vast majority of injuries were caused when soldiers used their lethal and allegedly non-lethal weapons against children in a manner that was unjustified, unreasonable, excessive and unlawful," the report concluded.

The Israeli army has disputed the report, saying that Save the Children has been biased against Israel in the past, However, another human rights group, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, reports comparable figures.

Human Rights Rapid Response Network
The International Jewish Peace Union-New York, New Jewish Agenda-Manhattan, and the Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation have joined together to form the Human Rights Rapid Response Network for Palestinian and Israeli Political Prisoners.

The Network was established to involve American Jews in the plight of the thousands of Palestinians held under administrative detention. Cases will be referred to the Network by human rights groups, including the Women's Organization for Women Political Prisoners and Al-Haq. The most urgent cases will be selected for immediate support. Subscribers to the Network will have a telex sent in their name each month to Israeli officials.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Nyhan, Sally Clark
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



West Bank Subsidies Questioned

Barron, Andrea. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 51.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218815878?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Seymour Reich, chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said that in light of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's recent comments on restricting Soviet Jewish emigration, Israel "may have to reconsider" offers to Israelis who settle in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At a press conference following his summit with President Bush, Gorbachev threatened to prevent the exit of Soviet Jews unless Israel guarantees they will not be settled in the occupied territories.

Israel's Ministry of Finance, which closely controls the price of home mortgages, offers special state-subsidized mortgages or non-interest-bearing loans to families that settle in the territories. In Israel proper, only families that do not already own a flat or house or are below a certain income level are eligible for the special mortgage rates.

Reich also said the new Shamir government, with the most right-wing cabinet Israel has ever had, should agree to participate in the Middle East peace process if it expects support from American Jews. Neither Ariel Sharon, the new housing minister, nor Foreign Minister David Levy supported Shamir's May 1989 peace plan, which called for negotiations between Israel and Palestinian representatives from the territories. Asked how US Jews would react if the new government failed to join the peace process, Reich told the Washington Jewish Week: "I can't believe it will not.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Barron, Andrea
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Peace Lobby as "Enemies”


Barron, Andrea. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 51.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218795092?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), associated with the right-wing Likud bloc in Israel, has sent its members an "Enemies List" with the names of prominent supporters of the Jewish Peace Lobby. The Peace Lobby, which supports the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, was founded by peace activist Jerome Segal to serve as a liberal counterpart to AIPAC.

Writing last year in the ZOA publication Israel Alert, ZOA Executive Vice President Paul Flacks accused the Jewish Peace Lobby of "joining with the Arab-PLO lobby [Flacks' emphasis] in advocating the establishment of a Palestinian state." He faulted the Peace Lobby for failing to "focus its attention on the continuing war which is being waged by the Arab states against Israel" and warned that while the organization may be "insignificant in size at this time, we know that the media relishes the opportunity to capitalize on dissident voices raised in criticism of Israel.”

Flacks highlighted several "dangerous" statements made by Jerome Segal, such as Segal's assertion that the "struggle for a Palestinian state is a struggle for a safe and humane Israel." The names of more than 40 Americans and 6 Israelis appeared on ZOA's "Enemies List," including those of 14 rabbis; actor Ed Asner; Robert O. Freedman, Graduate Dean of Baltimore Hebrew University; Harvard University professors Nathan Glazer and Stanley Hoffman; feminist Gloria Steinem; singer Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary; and Senator George McGovern, who sits on the Peace Lobby's Advisory Committee.

Novelist Anne Roiphe, whose name also appeared on the list, denounced the ZOA for using McCarthyite tactics against fellow Jews. "If we cannot respect difference of opinion here in America," she wrote in the American Jewish Committee publication Present Tense, "whatever will become of democracy in Israel? If Jews, who know the terror of thought control and fascism, cannot tolerate dissent, what hope is there for the rest of the world?

"Already in Israel," Roiphe continued, "someone has been killed attending a Peace Now demonstration and the apartment of a leader of the Citizens Rights Movement has been bombed...Enemies lists will encourage such actions: circulated, their poison drips and drips, sickening the body politic.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Barron, Andrea
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Bitter Harvest

Shadroui, George. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  3 (Aug 31, 1990): 52.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796943?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

By Sami Hadawi. Olive Branch Press, 1989. 352 pp. List $13.95; AET: $10 for one, $13.95 for two.

History, it is said, is written by the victors. The Arab-Israeli conflict has been no exception. In the United States in particular, the language used to portray this tragic conflict over the past 40 to 50 years has reflected pro-Israel biases and assumptions. Palestinian killers are terrorists; Israeli killers are deranged. Yasser Arafat's hesitation to denounce specific acts of violence are signs of bad faith; Israel's wholesale violation of Palestinian human rights -- including widespread killings -- is "unhelpful" and "excessive," but nothing like systematic terrorism or repression. The Jewish nationalist struggle is noble and heroic; the Palestinian nationalist struggle is narrow and brutal. The "victim" has been Israel, portrayed as a nation besieged by hostile, fanatical Islamic states. This in spite of the reality that the losers, by whatever measure -- pride, land or lives -- have been the Arabs.

Some of these perceptions are changing, thanks mainly to the intifada. The accumulated facts of some 50 years of oppression, terrorism and destruction are speaking through young Palestinians who have died by the hundreds to get their story heard.

This makes reading a newly republished book like Sami Hadawi's Bitter Harvest all the more difficult. The facts have been there, in all their gruesome, tragic detail, for decades: the villages destroyed, the innocent people massacred, the systematic policies used to deprive Arabs and Palestinians of their own land and homes, and the unfortunate, sometimes cynical, misuse of the United Nations. It is a bitter, dark record, one all the more painful to recount because so little of the Palestinian experience has penetrated the conscience of this nation.

Hadawi's book is the loser's view of history and it should be read not in order to undo the past, for this cannot be done, but at least to put in proper perspective the rage and grief of the Palestinians. Long on facts too easily forgotten, Hadawi's book, first published in 1967, traces the Arab-Israeli conflict from the Balfour Declaration to the intifada. Sections of particular interest are those that deal with events that occurred just before the UN partition plan of 1947 and the years immediately after Israel came into existence -- mainly chapters four through eight. This period is crucial to understand, for it is not as well known to most people as the more public conflict marked by major wars and the dramatic diplomacy of people like Sadat, Nasser and Begin.

Facts That Don't Fit
Hadawi reminds us of several facts that do not fit the popular American conception of the Jewish experience in Israel and the Mideast:

- The vast majority of land ceded to the Zionists by the United Nations was owned by Palestinian Arabs. Indeed, less than 10 percent of the land set aside for the new Israeli state was actually owned by Jews at the time of the partition vote. This Jewish state would occupy 56 percent of what was then Palestine, while the Arab state would include about 42 percent of the land. Jerusalem -- to be an international zone -- made up the remainder of the area.

- The Zionist use of terror against Arabs, British and even Jews was systematic and brutal. The massacres at Deir Yassin, Kafr Qasem, and Qibya, the sabotage of the Patria, a ship carrying Jewish refugees that was intentionally sunk by Zionist extremists (with the loss of more than 700 lives) and the destruction of Ikret and many other villages were all part of a Zionist effort to secure and expand the borders of a new state. Benny Morris, an Israeli historian, has documented that close to 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed during this period of the conflict, creating hundreds of thousands of refugees.

- While it is true that the Arabs rejected the partition plan and went to war in order to protect the interests of the Arabs already living in Palestine, it is also true that Israel, since 1948, has habitually ignored UN efforts to mediate the conflict or to redress the losses incurred by the Arab population. Much of the bitterness that exists results from Israel's refusal to respect armistice agreements, compensate victims of Israel's creation and deal in good faith with Arabs or UN negotiators.

Hadawi's work is not flawless and certainly it is not objective. At times, it takes on the tone of a polemic rather than an historical work. For example, Hadawi draws several parallels between the Jewish experience with German Nazis and the Palestinian experience with Zionists and Israelis. But this does little to clarify the complex events that triggered world reaction to the horrors of the Holocaust, or the UN partition plan that ensued.

One can justly state that the horrible crimes committed against the Jews during World War II, almost unique in human history, did not justify the perpetration of gross crimes and human rights violations against Arabs and Palestinians without trying to equate the two experiences.

In addition, some of Hadawi's use of sources is more the stuff of political essay than a comprehensive history of what actually has occurred in Palestine in this century.

If one sifts through some of the rhetoric and extraneous material, however, Hadawi's book presents a great deal of information and a compelling call for fairness and justice. Might does not make right in any moral sense; this much we know. But might does create irreversible, sometimes tragic facts. Hadawi has gleaned this hard lesson from history. In the 1967 edition of his book, he suggests that the Zionists in Israel could be driven into the sea and that this alone would bring peace to Palestine. Such rhetoric, in the wake of the disastrous 1967 war, is perhaps understandable. The Arab world was in crisis and rhetoric was the last refuge of a people humiliated by the events of the past 50 years.

But, in his most recent edition, Hadawi's tone is markedly different:

"For the state of Israel to survive, it must become a part of the Middle East, and the 3.5 million Jews must learn to live amicably among the 200 million Arabs. For Israel to continue to exist surrounded by enemies and relying solely on the military and economic aid it receives from the US government and world Jewry is short-sighted and unrealistic.”

History is a drama in which not only the actors change, but also the stage on which they perform. Today's victories become tomorrow's defeats and the glories of the past drown in the ignominy of the present. Jews and Arabs have witnessed enough triumph and tragedy to have digested this truth, but for some of them it seems the lessons of history must forever be relearned. It can be said of most of the Palestinians and Arabs, however, that in spite of the injustices and humiliations they have endured at the hands of the West, they have taken steps toward adjusting to and accepting the Israeli presence. Their gestures have only been ignored by a more powerful Israeli state. Hadawi stresses that peace cannot be forced upon the Arabs, if only because of demographic and geographic realities. In addition, the more hostile Arab regimes -- such as Iraq -- are better armed than ever before. If Israel wants peace, then it must earn it by facing up to its own misdeeds and crimes against the Palestinian people. That means restoring to them some semblance of that which was taken: home, land and nationhood.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (Book cover, Bitter Harvest)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Shadroui, George
Publication date Aug 31, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



A US-Israeli Collision Could Set the Stage for Middle East Peace

Killgore, Andrew I. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 5.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218797051?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Nine years ago America and Israel, an "ally" to politicians and journalists willing to parrot the word without believing it, slugged it out publicly over the sale of AWACS radar planes to Saudi Arabia. The Reagan administration eked out a victory over AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which lobbies in Washington for Israel.

Israel and its media and congressional loyalists had falsely claimed that providing Saudi Arabia with an early warning capability threatened Israel's security. In fact, the Saudis provided the US Navy with invaluable intelligence collected by the AWACS when, in 1987, we placed Kuwaiti oil tankers in the Persian Gulf under our military protection. Commercially, the AWACS sale was worth billions to US industry. Critical to the US victory was a brilliantly encapsulated summary of the dispute on millions of "Reagan or Begin?" bumper stickers, which took the dispute public over whether Reagan (the US) or Begin (Israel) would control US Middle East policy.

Seldom-Seen Glimpses of a Longstanding Conflict
The fight over the AWACS sale was one of the few publicly visible clashes in a 20-year contest, now coming to a conclusion, between the United States and Israel over control of American Middle East policies. Today's main fight is over US opposition to Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. Unfortunately for Israel, that fight is again becoming publicly visible, which sharply reduces Israeli chances of success. Nevertheless AIPAC, and Israel's other loyalists inside and outside the US government, are pressuring the administration to drop its opposition to the settlements while keeping unconditional grants of billions of American dollars flowing annually to Israel.

In the protracted struggle over settlements in the occupied territories, Israel has controlled US policy for more than a decade. Only very recently, when it said Israeli government sponsorship of the settlements must stop, has the Bush administration acted as if it meant what it said. The fact that President Bush now has publicly opposed settlements even in East Jerusalem casts a chill on Israel's loyalists. They know their chances of winning a public confrontation with the President are bleak.

The Persian Gulf Arena
The other major fight is over US policy in the Persian Gulf. Since 1987, the US has sensibly avoided taking sides in the ancient rivalries between non-Arab Iran and the region's Arab states, including Iraq. Israel aims to torpedo that balanced US policy with a view toward re-establishing its long-lasting (1970-1987) Tel Aviv-Tehran axis to intimidate the Arabs. Thus the furious drumbeat of Israeli-orchestrated attacks on Iraq in Congress and the US media. The purpose is to so stigmatize the Iraqi government that the US will be forced to curtail its mutually beneficial relations with Baghdad. Just one of the benefits to the US is an annual billion dollars in American agricultural sales to Iraq. The real target of the Iraq-bashing campaign, however, is not Iraq per se, but the US policy of careful neutrality in the Persian Gulf.

Nine years ago, after temporarily besting Israel in the AWACS fight, President Reagan and two successive secretaries of state, Alexander Haig and George Shultz, ceded to Israel virtual total control over our Middle East policy. Among the legacies of that nearly eight-year-long surrender were the immeasurably destructive Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the Iran-Contra affair, the worst foreign policy scandal in US history.

The latter was a direct result of Israeli overtures to Iran looking toward re-establishing with the Khomeini regime the close Israeli coordination established during the 1970s with the Shah's regime. That relationship had flourished because of the presence in the US government from 1969 through 1976 of a powerful Israeli loyalist in the person of Henry Kissinger, President Nixon's national security advisor and, later, Nixon's secretary of state as well.

The Tel Aviv-Tehran Axis
Kissinger helped Israel, against the interests of the United States, to establish an alliance with Iran against the Arabs. Determined to retain the huge Arab territories it had seized in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Israel needed a big Middle East ally. Anti-Arab Iran provided the extra weight Israel required.

So a de facto Tel Aviv-Tehran axis came into being, the real father of which was Kissinger. Iran was a good choice for Israel. It nursed old animosities, fully reciprocated, against Iraq, its Arab neighbor to the west, and against Arabs generally. Its ruler, Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, needed arms to realize his vaulting ambition to dominate the Gulf region, which holds perhaps half of the world's total oil reserves. Israel's influence in Washington could get the Shah the US weapons he wanted. In return he would point these weapons at the Arabs from the east, while Israel threatened them from the west.

Since the mid-1960s, Israel was secretly supporting the Shah's covert help to a Kurdish rebellion in Iraq's northern mountains. In the 1970s, while Kissinger was in the government, the US also ill-advisedly became involved in this indirect aggression against Iraq. Meanwhile, in 1972, the United States dropped all restrictions on arms supplies to I ran except for nuclear weapons. The Shah, whose ambitions bordered on megalomania, cast off all restraint and spent $25 billion on US arms alone over the next six years.

Building up Iran at Iraq's expense made no sense for the United States. Iran was three times Iraq's size in area and population, and twice as populous as all the Arab states in the Gulf combined. Unchecked, it had the potential to dominate the Gulf and all of its oil fields, whether the US liked it or not.

Moreover, the Shah, personally unsure of himself and obsessed with projecting a public image of strength and certainty, was just the kind of ruler who might eventually have told the US to get out and leave the Gulf and all of its oil to him. Seizing direct control of the oil of Iraq and Kuwait, and dominating the oil fields of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates, might have provided the Shah an irresistible opportunity to project the image of strength he coveted.

Viewed from Baghdad in the early 1970s, Iran's gigantic military buildup was ominous. Nor could Iraq put down the debilitating Kurdish rebellion so long as Iran and Israel were supporting it. With the US now openly committed to a Gulf dominated by Iran, Iraq's only way to secure internal peace was to give in to the Shah's demand. That was co-ownership of the Shatt al-Arab River, Iraq's only outlet to the sea.

Sacrificing the Kurds
So in 1975 Iraq made the excruciating decision to cede joint ownership of the Shatt to Iran. Outside support for the Kurds ceased immediately and the Iraqi army gave them a fearsome beating. Too late, the Kurds realized that Iran and its Israeli ally had not been true friends, but had used and then betrayed the Kurds for their own purposes.

Meanwhile, Iraq's decision under extreme duress to transfer to its ancient enemy partial control of its outlet to the sea set a hair-trigger for an Iraqi attempt five years later, after the fall of the Shah, to regain by force full control over the Shatt al-Arab.

A miserable lose-lose situation in the Gulf had been created by irresponsible outside intervention. Iraq's Kurds had lost heavily by accepting help from outside "friends." Iraq lost control of its only outlet to the sea. The US lost control of its policy in the Gulf to a manipulative Israel, whose regional interests were (and are) in direct conflict with ours.

The disastrous loser-to-be was Iran. By playing along with Israel's ambitions the Shah had turned his country into a potential Humpty Dumpty, the nursery rhyme character who, once smashed, couldn't be put together again. Internal upheavals from early 1978 to early 1979 destroyed the monarchy and put in power a violently anti-American "Islamic revolutionary" regime. Among the many causes of this political cataclysm were the Shah's grossly excessive American arms purchases and his neglect of economic development, which had taken second place to the arms build-up.

A bleak thought for Americans to contemplate is that the revolution probably would not have occurred except for Israel's manipulation of the US to work at cross purposes to its real interests.

The downfall of the royalist regime in Tehran, followed by the seizure of hostages in the American Embassy and the bungled US attempt to rescue them, thwarted the 1980 re-election ambitions of President Jimmy Carter. It also set the stage for the Iraqi military attack in 1980 in the Shatt al-Arab River area. The terrible eight-year struggle that followed cost a million lives, Iran's share was perhaps 700,000 dead.

Losses of Another Kind
American losses of life in the Gulf war were few. The Reagan administration and the United States as a whole, however, suffered the ignominy of revelations that American arms had been supplied secretly to Ayatollah Khomeini, who led a regime hostile to everything for which the United States professed to stand. The instrument of US humiliation was Israel, whose basic purpose in instigating the "opening to Iranian moderates," through the provision of US arms to Iran in return for release of US hostages in Lebanon, was to see Iran defeat Iraq and dominate the Arab states of the Gulf.

Details of the Iran-Contra scandal, in which the US provided weapons that could have tipped the balance in the Iran-Iraq war in favor of America's most dangerous Middle East adversary, remain murky because Israel loyalists, both in Congress and in the White House, tried to hide Israel's leading role. But American arms supplies to a friendly Shah in the 1970s, and to an unfriendly Ayatollah Khomeini in the 1980s, made no sense for the United States.

In the 1970s no State Department policy paper justifying unlimited arms sales to Iran was ever produced. And Henry Kissinger, who dominated the US foreign policy machinery for eight years, made plain that critical reporting from our embassy in Tehran on the arms sales issue would not be welcome in Washington. In the 1980s, the whole sorry Reagan administration military supply operation to Khomeini, which first took place in 1981 and resumed in 1985 and 1986, remained secret until it burst forth in November of 1986 after persistent earlier reports in this and other publications.

In spite of the cover-up of Israel's role, enough became known to "shame" the US into a total reversal of policy. That was putting American flags on Kuwaiti oil tankers in 1987 to protect them against Iranian military attack. The real meaning of the re-flagging was never articulated in Washington. But it was correctly interpreted in Tehran to mean that the United States would not permit Iran to defeat Iraq, because that would endanger our interests in the Gulf. As a direct result of this freeing of US Middle East policy from Israeli influence, an Iran-Iraq ceasefire went into effect in mid-1988.

Although more than one hundred thousand prisoners of war still await release, and both sides have to maintain the heavy burden of preparedness in case war breaks out again, foreign forces have withdrawn from the Gulf and oil production has climbed back toward normal levels.

Israel and US on Collision Course
Israel and the United States are now on a collision course over the settlements issue, assuming the Bush administration does not lose its nerve. It is possible that the Congress will vote Israel $400 million in "housing loan guarantees" without an iron-clad administration-recommended provision that Israel guarantee that no new or thickened settlements will be undertaken in the West Bank and Gaza. But that could be a Pyrrhic victory for Israel. It would likely create so much American ill will that the level of future US economic and military support would be cut. And the US Jewish community might finally warn the Israelis, "You're going too far.”

US policy in the Gulf probably cannot be overturned by Israel and its loyalists in the United States. Israel loyalists in the media and Congress are throwing every allegation in the book at Iraq. They charge that Iraq is working on a nuclear weapon, possesses chemical and biological weapons, and has used poison gas extensively to kill thousands of its own citizens. The fact that Israel already has the bomb and is far superior to Iraq in chemical (and probably biological) weapons, and in methods of delivering them, blunts the feverish anti-Iraq campaign.

The most widely accepted charge against Iraq is that it gassed its own Kurdish citizens at Halabja on the Iraqi-Iranian border after the town fell into Iranian hands in March 1988. An "internal" Pentagon study leaked to The Washington Post on May 3, 1990, however, provides some mitigating circumstances. According to the US study, both Iranian and Iraqi forces used poison gas at Halabja in the concluding months of their brutal eight-year war. In fact, Iran may have used gas first, the study found. And Iran certainly used the cyanide gas which produced the blue lips seen in some photographs of Halabja victims. Iraq, the Pentagon says, did not have cyanide gas.

The leaked Pentagon report, despite disclaimers, was almost certainly triggered by the Bush administration's determination to blunt Israel's scheme to again hijack US policy in the Persian Gulf by setting the US against Iraq. That indicates the United States is ready for another open confrontation, if necessary, with Israel over control of US Middle East policy.

If the current hardline Israeli government is determined to bring its disputes with the US to a head, Israelis probably can look forward to losing the American assistance that has made Israeli expansion possible. And the world can look forward, after 40 years, to the real possibility of Middle East peace.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Killgore, Andrew I
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Israel's Disappearing Democracy

Marshall, Michelle. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 8.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218797116?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

They may have been coincidental, but two events that recently took place in Israel together cast an ominous shadow over Israel's future. In early February a poll conducted by the Israel-Diaspora Institute showed that a majority of Israelis would be willing to abandon democracy in favor of strong-man rule. On Feb. 18, Trade Minister Ariel Sharon announced that he would run for prime minister in the next election.

The Institute's survey found that only 42 percent of Israeli respondents disagreed, and 45 percent agreed, that "In Israel's current situation, a strong leadership is needed to bring order to the country, independent of elections." Two years ago, 59 percent opposed that statement. Similarly, only 44 percent disagreed with the statement that "a slight threat to national security is sufficient to justify a serious limitation of democracy." Two years ago 56 percent disagreed.

The current mood in Israel is clearly more receptive to a Sharon candidacy than ever before. He has managed to live down the 1983 judgment by a special judicial panel that he was "indirectly responsible" for the massacres at Sabra and Shatila. Even his disastrous invasion of Lebanon seems so much past history. More important is the fact that he has a clearly defined plan for ending the intifada: Renounce UN Resolutions 242 and 338, expel all Palestinian community leaders involved in the uprising, and pressure Arab nations to "dismantle the PLO." With no equivocation he insists that "Jordan is Palestine. Judea and Samaria -- the so-called West Bank and Gaza -- are Israel. We will never give them up.”

If Sharon as prime minister attempted to carry out these policies, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could well escalate to a conflagration, thereby producing the very conditions that would allow his complete takeover of the government. Such an outcome would not be a total surprise, considering the recent trends in Israel. In the January-February issue of Present Tense, Robert Spero quotes Rabbi Eric Yoffie, executive director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America: "I was at a meeting of Reform leaders and I posed a question on how the democratic character of Israel is being called into question in a variety of ways. And some people around the table said...`Well, maybe we can't think in democratic terms. Maybe the realities in Israel are such that ultimately the solution is not going to be a democratic solution.'“

For Israeli Arabs, Israel has never been the shining example of democracy the lobbyists claim it is when it is time to ask Congress or Jewish donors for money. For Israeli Jews the shining example has become increasingly tarnished. Despite free-for-all election campaigns and shouting matches in the Knesset, it is unlawful for Israelis to challenge the consensus too sharply. Freedom of the press exists only for newspapers that refrain from printing what the government doesn't want printed. For Jews, religious freedom means having to observe Jewish laws whether or not one is a believer.

A Steady Slide Toward Authoritarianism
There is no constitutional guarantee of civil liberties in Israel, nor does Israel have a written constitution. Perhaps as a consequence, there has been a steady slide toward authoritarian government -- rule by the majority with no safeguards for the minority. Last November the Shamir government helped crush an attempt to remedy the situation by burying in committee a bill called the Basic Law: Human Rights, which would have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex or religion and guaranteed freedom of expression for all. The bill passed easily in the Knesset but the Orthodox religious parties, who feared it would jeopardize dozens of religious laws and give Israelis the right not to practice their faith, threatened to leave the Likud coalition unless it was suppressed.

Meanwhile, laws restricting freedom of speech and association are being made even harsher. In 1980 an amendment to the 1948 Prevention of Terrorism Act made it illegal for Israelis to perform any act that "demonstrates sympathy for a terrorist organization, such as flying a flag, displaying a symbol, uttering an anthem or slogan." Another 1980 amendment, to the Laws of Association, outlawed any group "which denies the existence of the State of Israel or its democratic character." And a third amendment, to the Nationality Law, gave the state the right to take away the citizenship of any person who is disloyal to Israel, with the Minister of Interior to decide what constitutes disloyalty.

In 1986 the Prevention of Terrorism Act was amended yet again, to outlaw any contact between Israelis and PLO officials. Although Israeli academics and even government officials are known to have met with PLO members, some dozen Israeli peace activists have been singled out for prosecution and the Attorney General is reportedly preparing cases against several others.

Most of the cases already tried are still on appeal, but last September Abie Nathan, a long-time advocate of nonviolence, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in jail with 12 months suspended. (A week earlier, an Israeli settler who had killed a Gaza schoolgirl was given a seven-month suspended sentence.) At the time of Nathan's sentencing, Israeli criminal law expert Prof. Shneur Feller said, "This law is more suited to a dictatorship than a democracy. If a law can tell you who you can speak to, why not one that tells you what you can say?”

Israel's Unfree Press
If a free press is the cornerstone of democracy, as Thomas Jefferson maintained, then Israeli democracy is in danger of collapse. There has never been a free press for Israeli Arabs or for Palestinians in the occupied territories. Scores of Arab journalists have been jailed or deported. Many have been killed. Arab-language newspapers are heavily censored and routinely shut down.

The Israeli press operates on fewer restrictions but is by no means free, either. According to a remarkably candid article in the Northern California Jewish Bulletin (March 7, 1986) by Israeli journalist Simon Griver, there are at least 69 subjects that the press may not discuss. These include not only security matters (with "security" defined by the censor) but also such topics as Jewish emigration, energy, "hostile organizations," water supplies, and Israel's foreign currency reserves. Griver's most telling statement was that the Israeli press cooperates voluntarily with the censor because most Israeli journalists share the prevailing view that Israel's security is too fragile to permit the free flow of information. Even the foreign press cooperates, Griver wrote, because if they didn't, government officials woulds imply bar their access to potential stories.

Nevertheless, since the intifada began, a number of journalists have been penalized for violating the rules. In April 1988 the Israeli government withdrew the press credentials of correspondents for The Washington Post and NBC News because they had failed to submit their reports of the Israeli assassination of a Palestinian leader to military censorship. Later that year reporters for Reuters and the Financial Times were similarly punished for writing about Israeli undercover squads in the occupied territories. Other foreign journalists have endured exhaustive interrogations and rigorous searches by Israeli police after completing assignments in Israel. The Israeli Defense Forces routinely bar reporters from areas of the West Bank and Gaza. Last December three Israeli reporters were charged with criminal violation of such orders when they remained in Nablus after it was declared "a closed military zone.”

Several Israeli journalists have suffered worse punishment. In February 1987, Israeli police raided the offices of the Alternative Information Center in West Jerusalem, seized its files and presses, and arrested the staff. The director, Michel Warshawski, was charged with violating the anti-terrorism laws by rendering services to "fronts for terrorist organizations." According to other journalists, however, the AIC was providing contacts and reliable information on the West Bank to reporters covering the intifada and offering printing services to Palestinian and Israeli political groups, including women's and students' organizations.

After a two-and-a-half-year trial, Warshawski was found guilty only of publishing the testimony of Palestinians who had been tortured in Israeli prisons. The prosecutor claimed the publication amounted to incitement, because "it would teach detainees how to resist" torture. Warshawski was sentenced to 20 months in prison plus 10 months suspended. Following the closing of the AIC, an editorial in the Israeli newspaper Al Hamishmar warned: "Whoever thought that it was possible to continue forever in a situation of a military dictatorship for Arabs and democracy for Jews, this week received another blunt hint that it won't work. Twenty years of occupation are slowly penetrating and permeating Israeli society, destroying the democratic cells of this society and, like a malignant growth, releasing the savage cells." The editorial concluded: "The most important thing is to end the occupation, for it vouchsafes our destruction.”

The erosion of democracy within Israel must sooner or later have an effect on US policy. If Sharon appears likely to be elected prime minister, there will be controversy in the United States over whether to continue giving a virtual blank check every year to the Israeli government. The pro-Israel lobby is certain to claim that any cut in US aid would endanger Israel's security, and many Americans will continue to buy this line. But it would be far more sensible to realize now, before it is too late, that concern for Israel's security and support for its government may be mutually exclusive. With extremists tightening their grip in that country, the United States could better ensure Israel's survival by backing those Israelis who are taking risks to protect democratic freedoms and who regard a just peace with the Palestinians as the only real guarantee of Israel's security. Jewish Americans above all should be aware that, in a totalitarian state, Israelis as well as Palestinians would be the victims.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Marshall, Michelle
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



A "Wimp" No More: The UN's New Humanitarian Activism in the West Bank and Gaza

Green, Stephen. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 12.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796699?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The governments that emerged from the Second World War lost little time in giving shape and substance to the universal feeling: "never again." The searing experience of the systematic slaughter of millions of Jews, Slavs, Communists and others had finally convinced the world community of the need to limit the effects of war upon those not engaged in the fighting.

In October 1945, barely 5 months after the end of hostilities in Europe, the first meeting of "expert" officials was held, beginning a long and complex process that would lead to the establishment of the four "Geneva Conventions of 1949." The wounded, the sick, the shipwrecked, prisoners of war, and, in particular, civilians, would henceforth be protected in times of conflict. By February of 1950, 61 governments had formally, solemnly ratified these agreements.

A Uniquely Swiss Organization
But when the drafters cast about for an entity to carry out the provisions of the Conventions, acting as a neutral intermediary between the parties to a future conflict, they pointedly did not choose the newly created United Nations, for they recognized that an organization of governments would be paralyzed when those governments, or their allies, became the warring parties. So the drafters turned to a tiny, little-known, uniquely Swiss organization called the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Since the signing of the Conventions, the UN has, of course, played an important role in resolving conflicts, as a forum for negotiation, and occasionally as a neutral third force placed physically between the combatants. But the protection of innocent individuals who, because of conflict, find themselves in the hands of an "adversarial authority," has been left to the ICRC. The ICRC became a kind of mobile strike-force of humanitarian law, with multi-functional teams, often utilizing their own aircraft and radio communications, inserting themselves exactly where they were most needed -- behind the generals' lines and inside the dictators' prisons.

ICRC activities were generally carried out in places where other outsiders -- particularly the media -- were very unwelcome. And the organization's reports of international law-breaking were, for the most part, discreetly made only to the governments of the offending generals and dictators themselves. Over time, that record of discretion gained ICRC access to the very places where the victims were suffering most.

Meanwhile, violations of the human rights of the victims of conflict were sometimes debated in the General Assembly and, in the most egregious cases, were even referred to the only UN body which could take concrete action -- the Security Council. Predictably, however, in the General Assembly, the representative of the accused government would protest interference in his country's internal affairs. If the matter did finally reach the Security Council, a veto would forestall any action. Such was the case, for example, during the Vietnam War, and the interminable Ethiopian-Eritrean and Middle East conflicts.

In the late 1980s a strange little war in the Middle East began to change all that. A war which is pitting armed combatants directly against unarmed civilians, it is writing a new chapter in international humanitarian law.

That war, of course, is the intifada, the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza. It is drawing one UN agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees in the Near East, reluctantly, into protecting the conflict's civilian "participants.”

After the Massacres
UNRWA was first formally asked by the UN General Assembly to provide protection services after the massacre of some 2,750 Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut in 1982. The resolution urged the Secretary General, in consultation with UNRWA, "to undertake effective measures to guarantee the safety and security and the legal and human rights of the Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories." The US and Israel voted against the measure (and another 30 or so members abstained), ensuring that the issue would go nowhere in the Security Council.

In their zeal, drafters of the measure placed UNRWA in a rather embarrassing position with the Red Cross, for it is the ICRC, and not the UN, which has a role in law under the Geneva Conventions to provide legal protection to the civilian victims of conflict. The matter remained effectively moot for the next 4 years, however, after the level of violence in Lebanon subsided somewhat in late 1983.

Meanwhile, UNRWA's small international staff and more than 17,000 Palestinian members of its "area staff" toiled away at providing food, shelter, education and health care to more than 2 million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza.

The Intifada Erupts
Then, in December 1987, the Israeli-occupied territories erupted into more or less constant demonstrations, rock throwing and civil disobedience. The vast majority of those who participated in this popular uprising were school-aged youth. Israel responded with school closings, mass arrests, deportations, destruction of houses, clubbings and rubber and plastic bullets.

Two weeks after the outbreak of the intifada, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 605, calling on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and requesting the UN Secretary General to recommend "ways and means for ensuring the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation.”

What is known as the "Goulding Report" was submitted a month later, after a trip to the occupied territories, by UN Undersecretary General for Special Political Affairs Marrack Goulding. Noting that both the UN Security Council and the ICRC rejected Israel's claim that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to Gaza and the West Bank, Goulding submitted a report relating Israeli actions to the specific provisions of the 4th Convention they were violating:

- attempts to alter the status of Jerusalem (article 47)
- establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories (article 49, para. 6)
- deportations of Palestinian civilians (article 49, para. 1)
- collective punishments (article 33)
- destruction of property (article 53).

In addition, according to Goulding, there was evidence of violations of article 32, prohibiting measures of brutality against civilians.

Goulding classified and analyzed four different types of protection required:

1) physical protection of civilians in occupied territories, such as what might be provided by UN peacekeeping troops, 2) legal protection, such as that provided by the ICRC under the Geneva Conventions, 3) protection by publicity, and 4) "general assistance," such as UNRWA provides.

He described general assistance as that "in which an outside agency intervenes with the authorities of the occupying Power to help individuals or groups of individuals to resist violations of their rights (e.g. land confiscations) and to cope with the day-to-day difficulties of life under occupation, such as security restrictions, curfews, harassment, bureaucratic difficulties and so on.”

This last represents a significant advancement of UNRWA's, and thus the UN's, involvement in protection activities in time of conflict. It has been caused in large part because UNRWA officers are sometimes "there" when human rights violations are taking place, and ICRC delegates are not, particularly in Gaza, where UNRWA has a much larger presence than does ICRC.

A Division of Responsibilities
The total population of the West Bank and Gaza is approximately 1.6 million, of which about 820,000 are refugees, officially registered with UNRWA and living in 27 far-flung camps. To maximize the coverage of their limited international staff in the area, the two organizations have informally agreed upon a rough division of responsibilities. ICRC's 43 delegates in the territories concentrate upon the public hospitals, schools and commercial centers, while UNRWA's current international staff of 25 serve the refugee camps themselves.

ICRC internal rules regarding action it takes in the event of breaches of the Geneva Conventions lean heavily toward inspections, investigations and confidential reports to the offending government. ICRC protection services during the intifada differ from those provided in other conflicts in the number of times the ICRC has been obliged to denounce publicly repeated, major violations of law by the occupying power.

When ICRC delegates have personally witnessed or have irrefutable proof of major repeated breaches, despite ICRC's confidential interventions, public exposure sometimes is necessary to protect the affected population, and the organization is prepared to reveal its findings to the media.

ICRC's special difficulties with the government of Israel began within days of its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza during the Six-Day War of 1967. Israel announced then that it did not accept the applicability of the Geneva Conventions, as it rejected Jordanian and Egyptian sovereignty in the territories prior to the occupation. Several days later, over the repeated, strenuous objections of the ICRC, the homes of hundreds of the Arab residents of East Jerusalem were destroyed to make room for worshippers and tourists at the Western Wall. The ICRC issued a public statement identifying the action as a violation of article 53 of the Fourth Convention.

Since then, although the Israeli government has professed a willingness to act in accordance with the "humanitarian provisions" of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the actions of its army have generated numerous official ICRC complaints. In 1989 alone, the ICRC issued two separate public statements on forced deportations, which are violations of article 49, and one particularly strong public communique following an incident at the village of Nahalin in the West Bank, in which 6 civilians were killed by IDF gunfire, and 30 were injured. The ICRC statement accused Israeli forces of opening fire, "without discrimination and without restraint," against "defenseless civilians," and then hampering evacuation of the injured.

Meanwhile, UNRWA faced similar situations in the refugee camps. Unlike the ICRC, however, UNRWA had no legal framework of humanitarian law within which to work. A Security Council resolution has no binding effect in law on Israel or any other state.

Nevertheless, over the last few years, UNRWA has begun to deal with the human rights violations it confronts. UNRWA international professionals have, according to UN sources, intervened to stop beatings of youths, obtained the release of young detainees, taken written testimony from witnesses of the killings at Nahalin, recovered ID cards confiscated from Palestinians by Israeli soldiers, and arranged for the return of Palestinian prisoners dumped at night by Israeli authorities in the desert in Gaza.

Occasionally, in circumstances where a formal, "legal" intervention with Israeli authorities was required, UNRWA officers have collaborated with ICRC delegates to get the job done. In one such instance, a bus taking family members to visit Palestinian prisoners at a detention facility near Nablus was harassed, stopped and finally attacked by carloads of Jewish settlers. The settlers, who were armed with automatic weapons, fired shots into the air and broke bus windows. An UNRWA officer, who had been escorting the bus in a vehicle flying the UN flag, called upon Israeli soldiers at a nearby checkpoint to intervene. When they refused, he used his radio to contact the local ICRC office. He then remained at the scene until a team of ICRC delegates arrived to escort the bus and its terrified Palestinian passengers safely through the Israeli mob and on to the prison.

Israel's Growing Intolerance
Before the intifada, UNRWA's work on behalf of the Palestinian refugees was tolerated, if not appreciated, by the Israeli occupation authorities. The international funds channeled through the organization for this purpose were, after all, funds which Israel would otherwise have had to find somewhere to maintain the populations conquered in 1967. Even the fact that UNRWA was slowly educating and training what would one day be the personnel infrastructure of a Palestinian state was tolerated.

But a new, activist UNRWA constantly sticking its nose into security matters was something else again. Israeli military authorities began to target UNRWA's facilities and personnel for harassment, some of which the Israelis later claimed was accidental. In October 1989, UNRWA Commissioner General Giorgio Giacomelli reported to the Special Political Committee of the General Assembly:

UNRWA is also faced with what I am sad to describe as increasingly un-cooperative, at times even hostile, behavior on the part of the occupying forces on the ground. Agency premises are commandeered...ambulances are forcibly stopped, drivers and accompanying medical staff are assaulted...wounded persons are detained...papers and reports have been confiscated...

The commissioner general's annual report submitted to the UN General Assembly three months previously reported that international and local UNRWA staff members were "arrested and detained without charge or trial" and subjected to "beatings and other forms of brutality" as well as "physical abuse and, at times, undisciplined behavior by Israeli soldiers.”

For whatever reason, the government of Israel instructed its UN representative not to debate the matter of humanitarian law violations in the occupied territories, or UNRWA's role in monitoring them. More importantly, perhaps, neither Israel nor the United States contested UNRWA's new, vigorous protection activities on behalf of Palestinians. It was an opening. And in the months since the Special Political Committee meeting, there have even been discussions of a possible motion in the Security Council to permit UNRWA to provide protection services to Palestinian civilians.

What is happening in the current, and hopefully last, stage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an important process of institutional learning at the United Nations. In practice, if not in law, the UN through UNRWA is assuming a new humanitarian role. The experience gained, including the new cooperation with the ICRC, could be of immense use in future wars and internal conflicts.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (Palestinian women in refugees camps with their children)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Green, Stephen
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Israeli, American Spoilers Endanger American Hostages in Lebanon

Levin, Jerry. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 19.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218816010?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Mischief makers in Israel and the United States whose priorities are those of hardline Israeli Likud leaders, and not the lives of Americans held captive in Lebanon, have a history of initiating self-serving, dubious and dangerous efforts that have prolonged the hostages' ordeal and agony. The latest example is the vote they pushed on April 23rd in the House of Representatives on the Jerusalem-capital-of Israel issue, at one of the most crucial moments in the entire tortured history of efforts to free the hostages.

Because the release of Robert Polhill two days earlier had been accompanied by very strong hints that another hostage would be released within a week, the timing of the vote clearly had the potential of torpedoing a second hostage's quick return to freedom. Although the White House made it clear it was infuriated by the House action, the vote drew the inevitable and obligatory response from Hussain Mussawi, a Lebanese Shi'i spiritual leader who moonlights as head of one of the Iran-backed radical militias. As a result of the vote, he declared, no further Americans would be released.

Behind-the-scenes understandings involving the US, Syria, Iran and the captors, however, had already achieved considerable constructive momentum. As a result, the ill-timed vote did not derail release of the second hostage, Frank Reed, five days later.

But he was freed no thanks to those congressmen who have allowed themselves to become voluntary hostages to Israeli hardline interests. Despite the fact that American mood and policy is out of sync with these Israel firsters, their hold on Congress is still so strong that the vote was held regardless of its potential effect on the fate of the second hostage, not to mention the rest of them.

A History of Meddling
Examples abound of earlier meddling by self-centered Israel right-or-wrong spoilers more interested in protecting or furthering Israel's often contradictory interests than in the lives of Americans caught in the middle.

In the summer of 1985 it was Israelis who brought the idea of supplying arms to Iran to such White House National Security Council activists as Robert McFarlane and Oliver North, a scheme that history has shown had much less to do with freeing hostages than raising money to get around the law prohibiting the United States from arming the contras.

It was not altruism that brought the Israelis to McFarlane and North. Instead, it was a carefully calculated maneuver designed to divert the United States from pressuring Israel to draw down on its inventory of Lebanese and Palestinian detainee/hostages on behalf of anyone other than Israelis. Israel has always warehoused Arab hostages against the predictable rainy days when it must trade them for members of its defense forces who, inevitably, fall into enemy hands while on duty in Lebanon.

But in July 1985, Israel had no such bargaining chips. Over 700 detainees had been traded for the American hijack/hostage victims of TWA flight 847, and its detention centers and prisons were empty. What is not widely remembered about the Israelis' seemingly selfless gesture on behalf of its American benefactor is that at that particular moment, for the first time in several years, no Israelis were being held hostage in Lebanon.

Less than a month before the early June 1985 hijacking of the TWA flight 847 Americans, Israel had won the freedom of the last three of its men being held in Lebanon by freeing more than a thousand detainee/hostages in Israeli prisons, as well as a number of convicted guerrillas and terrorists.

With none of its soldiers in captivity, Israel could afford to be sensitive to US needs and open the gates of detention centers to help us out. But Israeli leaders never wanted to be in such a vulnerable position again. They expected that sooner or later more of their men would be taken prisoner in Lebanon.

Within a year, in 1986, three Israelis fell into enemy hands. Although the people holding American hostages Robert Polhill, Jesse Turner and Alan Steen announced they would trade them for the more than 400 new Lebanese and Palestinians the Israelis had quickly taken hostage, Israel, not unexpectedly, said, "no" to any deal that failed to include its own men as well.

Another problem with the Israeli-inspired Iran-Contra diversion, often overlooked, is that although three American hostages did come home as a result of selling arms to Iran, more American hostages were taken to replace them. Also, the Israel-inspired Iran-Contra affair caused a debilitating US constitutional crisis and bruising showdown between Congress and the White House.

Iran-Contra Money to Israel
Finally, we now know from Seymour Hersh's revelations in the April 29th New York Times Magazine that the Israelis also made money from the arms deal with Iran they promoted. Hersh reported that an unpublicized finding of the joint congressional investigation of Iran-Contra was a $1 million payment from the secret Swiss bank account of one of North's civilian henchmen, Albert Hakim, into an account controlled by Amiran Nir, the Israeli official who was one of the chief instigators of Iran-Contra.

Despite Israeli efforts to portray last summer's kidnapping of Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid as not harming American interests, Israeli spokesmen admitted the kidnapping was initiated without any consideration for the danger such a provocative act might pose to Americans still in captivity. Americans were exposed to the death of Colonel William Higgins and, for the following agonizing week, the cries for help of Joseph Cicippio, who was also threatened with death in retaliation for the Sheikh's kidnapping.

Israel's spoiler role where American lives are concerned can be traced back directly to its invasion and occupation of Lebanon. It misused American weapons supplied to Israel for defensive purposes only. Further, based upon false Israeli assurances that its forces would not penetrate more than 40 kilometers into Lebanon, US Secretary of State Alexander Haig vetoed UN Security Council moves to halt the invasion. Once the US was perceived by Middle Eastern states as politically and militarily supporting the Israeli invasion, the lives of American diplomats, servicemen and civilians were in great danger. The suicide bombing of the American Embassy in Beirut and the US Marine barracks at Beirut International Airport and the widespread kidnapping of Americans and other Westerners followed.

Sadly, there is no evidence that the spoilers are having second thoughts or that they might act differently in the future. It appears that freeing American hostages will be accomplished not as a result of Israeli actions, but in spite of them.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Levin, Jerry
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Israeli General Says Too Much US Aid is Ruining His Country

Barron, Andrea. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 22.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218811370?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Matti Peled, a retired Israeli major general who teaches Arabic literature at the University of Tel Aviv, shocked his country back in 1977 when he dared to meet with officials from the Palestine Liberation Organization. Now Peled, who recently completed a year as a Visiting Scholar in Arabic at Harvard University, has done something just as controversial. He is calling for a drastic reduction in US aid to Israel, claiming too much aid is Mining his country!
The United States currently provides over $3 billion a year in aid to Israel -- $1.8 billion for military aid, $1.2 billion in economic support funds, and additional funding for refugee resettlement and some other programs. Economic aid was converted from loans to outright grants in 1981, while military assistance has been provided in grant form since 1985. While virtually all other recipients of US aid must spend the money in the United States, Israel is permitted to spend $300 million dollars of its US military assistance in Israel.

An Expensive Gift
Peled, who represented the leftist Progressive List for Peace Party in the Israeli Knesset from 1984 to 1988, says Israel has a defense budget of around $6 billion. One third of this money comes from the United States, and the rest from the Israeli taxpayer. "Israel has to spend two dollars of its own money for every dollar it gets from America. We have to lay out enormous sums of money to absorb all the weaponry we buy from America. If we purchase an F-16 jet, for example, we have to buy the spare parts and ammunition ourselves, train the pilots and find a place to store the jet plane.

"The requirement that US aid be spent in America is killing Israel economically. We'd be better off accepting one billion dollars from the US -- even if it came in loans instead of grants -- and using the money in Israel. Right now we're buying lots of military hardware we don't need just because the money is there. And all this money isn't making us any more secure!”

Peled argues that the nearly $2 billion in US military aid is giving Israel a false sense of security. "The aid is fueling the arms race in the Middle East and subsidizing American arms manufacturers. But it isn't bringing us any closer to peace." Real peace, says 66-year-old Peled, will come only when Israel agrees to negotiate with the PLO and withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Moreover, Peled asserts, the inflated military budget has turned the Israel Defense Forces into a political player. "David Ben Gurion (Israel's first prime minister) always insisted that the army should never become a political factor but just be a part of society. The army today is a separate caste in Israeli society. This has disrupted the very delicate balance in a democratic society.”

Peled is convinced that Syria, often regarded as Israel's most dangerous enemy, would not attack if the Jewish state reduced its defense budget. "Both the Syrian and Israeli economies are bleeding," he says. "If Israel reduced its military budget, Syria would immediately follow. This is what's happened with the US and the Soviet Union. When one side starts cutting, the other does the same.”

Israel's Best-Kept Secret
The United States provides Economic Support Funds (ESF) to Israel and some other allies, such as Turkey and El Salvador, to help them pay the interest on their debts to the US. But Peled believes Israel is using about $500 million in ESF funds to finance Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. "We can't find out for sure," he says. "The amount of money being invested for the annexationist policy is the best-kept secret in Israel. We do know that in spite of all the American aid, there hasn't been any growth in the Israeli economy for 15 years!”

Peled does not advocate any cuts in US economic aid to Israel. Instead he wants the money invested in specific types of economic activities such as projects in the poorer development towns. The unemployment rate in these development towns, where many Jewish immigrants of North African origin settled in the 1950s, has recently climbed to almost 20 percent. This compares to Israel's national unemployment rate of close to 10 percent.

Does Peled think the US should cut aid to Israel if it continues its harsh policies towards the Palestinians and refuses to talk to the PLO? "No," he says, but suggests that President Bush encourage Israel to begin a dialogue with the PLO by asking the UN secretary general to convene an international peace conference on the Middle East which includes the PLO. "Israel would have to attend because it could not afford to stay away.”

But the Israeli general, who still considers himself a Zionist, says the US should not use aid to force a change in Israeli policies. He is aware that some Arab-American organizations and other groups say aid should be cut, citing what they term "Israel's gross violations of human rights." Peled disagrees. "Some people want to cut aid to Israel to punish it. I want to cut aid to save it. If the American Congress really wants to help Israel, they'd give us less military aid and let us use the money the way we want, in our own country.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Barron, Andrea
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Investing in the Maghreb: An American View

Amiar, Jamal. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 28.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784915?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

While political relations between countries of the Arab Maghreb and the United States are generally termed good or excellent, the level of economic relations is weak. For instance, the level of trade between the US and Morocco was about $400 million last year, as was the level of US-Tunisian trade. US-Algerian trade was close to $1 billion.

All three of these countries, in contrast to Libya and Mauritania, are courting foreign investors. Money, however, goes where it can make money, and this is a time when more countries from Eastern Europe and the third world are competing for foreign investment.

Thus a few questions need to be answered here. How does the American business community perceive the various markets of the Maghreb compared to investment opportunities elsewhere in the world? And in North Africa, what can Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia do to attract US investment?

The Trends are Encouraging
Over the past year, a number of exchanges have taken place between the business communities in those countries and in the United States. Late in 1989 the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a US government agency, led representatives of 13 US corporations to Morocco. Back in Washington, James Berg, OPIC's executive vice-president, evaluated that trip as "very encouraging." The US businessmen "reacted very positively to the emerging business climate in Morocco," Berg said. Of the 13 corporations represented, 12 have expressed interest in investing in Morocco and six have made follow-up contacts with prospective Moroccan business partners.

Interest in Tunisia also runs high in the US, where Tunisian businessmen are generally perceived as very dynamic and aggressive. In order to promote trade with the United States, Tunisians last year opened a business information center in Atlanta.

US-Arab Chamber of Commerce President Jean Abi Nader, who visited Tunis last January, also notes that "Tunisians react smartly and rapidly to the actual changes on the world market.”

Regarding Algeria, the American attitude is the most cautious. While Algerian politics are changing fast, and trade legislation is being liberalized, business leaders prefer to move slowly and safely rather than hurry and then be sorry. According to Berg, "the recent changes in Algeria are seen very positively in the US, and 1990 should be the year OPIC makes its first trip ever to Algiers.”

However, Abi Nader's view is more somber. In a report addressed to US-Arab Chamber members following his trip to Algeria five months ago, he stated bluntly that the country "is far from a level of development, either in terms of economic liberalization or in privatization, which will encourage participation of American investors at this time.”

So, Where to Go?

Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia obviously offer different kinds of opportunities. According to the Washington-based US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, it would be wise to invest in Tunisia for the production of export-oriented high tech products that require high labor productivity. For a medium technology product that requires mostly assembly and relies on both a domestic and an export market, the job can be done in Morocco. For ventures in the energy sector, Algeria is the place.

Courting Foreign Investment
In the 1980s, the Maghreb as a whole attracted less than $250 million worth of foreign investment annually. In order to attract more foreign investments, the Maghreb countries must define a "new product identity," in Abi Nader's view. "The Maghrebians need first to add value to their exports of primary products.”

This means that Algeria needs to develop the production of petrochemical products. Tunisian olive oil should not just be an additive to Italian olive oil. The same is true for the Moroccan tomatoes that go into the production of French tomato sauce. Algeria should market its own motor oils. Tunisia should bottle its own olive oil. And Morocco should make its own orange juice concentrate and tomato catsup.

The Maghreb countries need to keep an eye on developments in Eastern Europe, Abi Nader believes, but there "the industry restructuration process and the debt will remain heavy burdens for the next 5 to 10 years." That is time enough for the Maghreb to define a strategy.

New Thinking on Entrepeneurship Faces Resistance
In Berg's view, Maghreb countries must "continue to show that they welcome foreign investment and that they see it as being positive for their own well-being and profit." It is clear from talks with all American businessmen who visit the Maghreb countries that they appreciate the fact that governments in Rabat, Algiers, and Tunis are making tremendous efforts at liberalizing, privatizing, and offering various incentives to attract foreign investors. However, all complain that the new thinking within the governments, the educated classes and the business communities of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia is not reaching the armies of bureaucrats in those countries. The lower and intermediate levels of the bureaucracy in the Maghreb have resisted this new thinking about the benefits of entrepreneurship and freedom. That is where the problems of stimulating investment and development in the Maghreb must be solved.

Tunisia Joins GATT
Tunisia has formally become a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which sets rules for 90 percent of world trade. Tunisia has been a provisional member since 1959, but has now agreed to lift many trade barriers. Elsewhere in the Maghreb, Morocco has been a GATT member since 1987, and Algeria has recently applied for membership.

Morocco Will Expand Free Trade Zones and Off-Shore Banking
To pursue its liberalization program, the Moroccan government has decided to go ahead with setting up new free trade zones and allowing off-shore banking. Up to now, the only free trade and off-shore banking zone in the Kingdom has been in Tangier.

Algeria Has New Information Law
Algerian President Chadli Benjedid has signed a new law on information which has generated an unfavorable reaction from the press sector. The new law, although allowing for private media ownership, contains many restrictions. Criticism of Islam is not permitted, and the defense of professional secrecy cannot be offered to obstruct judicial investigation.

The new law also establishes an "independent administrative authority" to organize the profession, settle conflicts involving journalists or media companies, and to allot media time to political groups and associations during electoral periods.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Amiar, Jamal
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Danger for 1990 Elections: Pro-Israel PACs at Work

Payson, Parker L. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 30.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218798363?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

...Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: and he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings...

(Daniel 2:20,21)
Sovereign Lord of history and the nations, we pray for the Senators running for re-election. Thou knowest the tensions inevitable between campaigning and business as usual in the Senate. Thou knowest the ambivalence inescapable in delicate decisions when voting against conscience for the sake of constituent approval is so compelling. Give wisdom to those who direct their campaigns; give the Senators special persuasiveness in speech; hold them to truth and provide wherever needed adequate campaign funds.

We pray in His name through Whom thou dost promise to supply all our needs according to your riches in glory. Amen.

Rev. Richard C. Halverson August 5, 1988
This invocation was read by the Senate chaplain on the Senate floor, three months prior to the 1988 congressional elections, in which more than 98 percent of incumbents running for re-election were victorious.

Money from special interest groups and political action committees (PACs) ensured a steep uphill battle for challengers not blessed with a track record of legislative groveling. Pro-Israel PACs were pre-eminent in congressional election financing, providing over $5.8 million in direct contributions to candidates running for Senate and House of Representatives.

Their influence has not diminished.

By March 31, 1990, 55 pro-Israel PACs had already raised more than $6.9 million and had invested over $1.8 million in their choices for the 102nd Congress. Some 166 Democrats received more than $1.3 million, while 61 Republicans received more than $497,000. Incumbents received 94 percent of pro-Israel PAC donations.

Some 75 percent of the money spent on incumbents went to members of Congress who sit on committees directly responsible for molding US relations with Israel and its neighbors. By April 1990, 13 of the 17 members of the Senate Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee had taken money from pro-Israel PACs, as well as some 17 of the 19 senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, including 6 of the 7 members of the Subcommittee on Near East and South Asian Affairs.

In the House of Representatives, 11 of the 12 members of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee received contributions for their 1990 reelection campaigns, as did 26 of the 44 voting members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, including 10 of the 13 members who sit on the Europe and Middle East Subcommittee.

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), who is pressing implementation of a joint Israeli-US anti-tactical ballistic missile program, has received $147,300 for his re-election bid against Representative Bill Schuette. He is followed by Foreign Relations Committee member Paul Simon (D-IL), who has received $132,651; Appropriations Committee and Defense and Foreign Operations Subcommittee member Tom Harkin (D-IA), who has received $125,550; chairman of the Ethics Committee, Howell Heflin, who has received $84,850; and Rudy Boschwitz (R-MN), ranking member of the Near East and South Asian Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, who has received $77,650.

Mel Reynolds has received the most pro-Israel PAC money for any House race, some $35,050 for his unsuccessful primary race against incumbent Gus Savage (D-IL), one of the few congressmen who endorsed a cut in Israeli aid. He is followed by Sidney Yates (D-IL), who protested House proposals urging Israel to reopen West Bank schools, and who has received $28,250; Appropriations Committee member and Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Subcommittee Chairman David Obey (D-WI), who has received $23,300; Ron Wyden (D-OR), who has received $21,000; Glen Browder (D-AL), of the Armed Services Committee, who has received $20,000; and chairman of the Armed Services Committee Les Aspin (D-WI), who has received $18,500.

A list of all members of Congress and candidates who have received direct contributions from pro-Israel PACs during the 1990 election cycle begins on page 30. Draw your own conclusions.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Payson, Parker L
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



USS Liberty Memorial Library Enjoys Busy First Year

Grant, Carol. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 36.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218816073?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

One year after a dedication ceremony that threatened to split their community, residents of the village of Grafton, Wisconsin are setting new attendance and book circulation records at a library named in honor of the dead and wounded crew members of an American Navy ship almost sunk by an Israeli air and torpedo boat attack in June 1967. "The USS Liberty Memorial Public Library is alive and well and moving quickly into the 21 st century," according to head librarian Art Gutkowski. "Grafton's former library was cramped for space, seated only four patrons and had no tables for reading or research work.”

The new library, financed largely by private donations, has 52 seats and 11 tables for adult readers and 16 seats and four tables for children. As Gutkowski put it: "An analogy springs to mind here of a take-out only fast food enterprise replaced by a full service restaurant.”

The collection of resource, research and donated books, general reading selections and periodicals continues to be of high quality. Federal and state grants helped pay for costs incurred while retro-converting catalog data into machine-readable form, and will provide materials to serve patrons with special needs, in particular the "talking books" for people with sight difficulties. A local "Friends of the Library" organization has begun to assist with various programs for the public.

The former commanding officer of the USS Liberty, Captain William McGonagle, generously donated to the Girl Fund during a memorial service for crew members last June. His donation and a grant co-funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Wisconsin Humanities Committee have enabled the library to offer "The Library of America," a 60-volume set of writings of major American authors.

Books on the Middle East also are available from all points of view, in keeping with the remark by Joseph Joubert, "It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.”

Such a debate raged while the library was under construction over the suggestion by two major donors to the project to name the library in honor of the USS Liberty. The proposal set off attempts, mostly by residents of nearby Milwaukee, to induce residents to change the name. These included unrelenting critical media coverage, picketing during the ground-breaking ceremony, refusal by the school board to permit the high school band to participate, and the refusal of some area clergy and many invited military and federal government officials to attend the village's memorial service for the crew.

Nevertheless, the integrity of the USS Liberty Memorial Library remains intact! We residents of Grafton are proud of the library and grateful to the surviving crew members for their support and to all of our citizens who worked so hard under difficult circumstances to provide our community with an outstanding collection of literature and diverse points of view. In this context, we are all winners!
I think it is appropriate to share the feeling of Ron Kugal, chaplain of the USS Liberty Veterans Association, about the library named after his ship and the village that honored its crew: "All of you in Grafton who stood this test of moral character with unrelenting fortitude will never be forgotten. May God bless the village of Grafton.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Grant, Carol
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Episcopalian Bishop Expresses Distress to Bush Over Occupation

Bird, Gene. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 47.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218780998?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

"Deep anguish" and "deeply disturbing to me" were among the expressions used by Presiding Episcopalian Bishop Edmond Browning in a letter sent April 24 to President Bush protesting the Israeli government's involvement in the occupation of St. John's Hospice in Jerusalem.

The New York-based leader of most American Episcopalians also asked the president to convey his displeasure to the Israeli government over this "latest outrage" and specifically asked the president to mention his concern over providing American funds which "free Israeli resources for such irresponsible use.”

Bishop Browning's wife happened to be in Jerusalem at the time of the incident. Anglican Bishop Samir Kafity supported the protests of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch by closing St. George's Close and Cathedral in consort with all other Christian churches in Jerusalem on the Friday after the incident. For the first time in 800 years, churches were closed in Jerusalem.

Interfaith Group Continues Seminars and Discussions
Three major all-day seminars during the past six months have been held by the Inter-Religious Committee for Peace in the Middle East, headquartered in Philadelphia. Palestine National Council member Nabil Shaath, a graduate of Wharton School and one of the most articulate spokespersons for the Palestinians, and Israeli former General Yehoshafat Harkabi have appeared together on these programs, which are now available on tape.

In Chicago on May 20-21, Shaath scheduled another appearance with Richard Murphy, former assistant secretary of state for the Near East and South Asia, former US Secretary of Commerce and American Jewish Congress President Phillip Klutznick, Rashid Khalidi of the University of Chicago, and William Sloane Coffin of SANE. An interfaith service with Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Rabbi Henry E. Schaulman and Imam W.D. Mohammed was a first for the Interfaith Group.

Others who appeared on these programs in Boston and New York included Rita Hauser, Khalil Jahshan, Father Bryan Hehir, Harold Saunders, ex-Gush Emunim member Moshe Halbertal, Daoud Assad, Rabbi Neil Cominsky, and Swedish Bishop Krister Stendahl. Copies of the VHS tapes of the Boston seminar are available from Director Ronald Young at (215) 438-4142. They cost $25 each or $75 for the four available.

An Interview with Graham Fuller: RAND Researcher Calls on Bush and Baker to Start "Thinking Out Loud”

(RAND Corporation researcher Graham Fuller is continuing his work on the occupied territories. His August 1989 study of the intifada for the US Defense Department, which concluded that a Palestinian state was inevitable, was widely discussed among Washington policymakers on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. He was interviewed May I after an appearance at Georgetown University.)
Bird: Now that it appears Shamir has a good chance of eventually forming a government, what do you think will happen to the peace process?

Fuller: A peace process cannot work when both sides are intransigent, or even one side. Nor can...autonomy work [unless] there is lots of good will. Any of the halfway houses to peace being suggested are unstable. Long range, there has to be a belief that the other side will let the process work toward some agreed goal. The Palestinian state is the end solution desired by the PLO and the West Bankers. Assured peace and [security] for the state of Israel is what the Israeli public wants. But getting there is very difficult if there is no good will or belief in [each other].

Bird: Could Shamir become another De Gaulle? After winning power in France he reversed policy and granted Algeria independence.

Fuller: I don't see that. Shamir is distrusted by many Likud party members because they believe he is not an ideologue. But Likud as a whole cannot go far down the road to legitimizing Palestinian nationalism without [breaking up]. They considered Shamir's proposals for limited elections as legitimizing the independence of the Palestinians and therefore the PLO.

Bird: What should the Bush/Baker team do now?

Fuller: I would hope that the administration would go public, talking out loud about the kind of outcome America would like to see happen, without making any conclusions or [judgments]. Constructive ambiguity is valuable sometimes but we also need to get a [public debate] started. Use the Bully Pulpit. For one thing, lots of American Jews and Israeli Jews and Arabs want blunt talk from us. It helps them. Once the ideological log-jam is broken, then diplomacy can operate. In fact, we should specify only principles, not specific details on a settlement.

Bird: Do you think the involvement of Baker or Bush personally in the peace process is going to be necessary or desirable?

Fuller: That is up to them, but if we can do nothing with the present Israeli government, then we had better start thinking out loud and publicly show our misgivings about leaving the situation in its present highly unstable condition. And perhaps we should consider raising the level of dialogue with the PLO and acknowledge that the PLO has a role, maybe not a key role, but a role, in the process. And the PLO has a lot of room to show its sober and consistent interest in moderation and wisdom. I was disappointed at their support for Iraq. We should not engage in Israel-bashing, but we should invite moderates to join us in moving toward peace, without calling for an international conference.

Bird: You have said Jerusalem is only a technical problem to be resolved by the diplomats down the road in final talks. Does that still hold true?

Fuller: Yes, and even the PLO says that can be resolved, by a variety of means. The tough one is getting the two parties to the table. It is a highly unstable situation.

Bird: Why do you suppose the Shamir government opened a new front with the Christian community world-wide with its occupation of St. John's Hospice on Good Friday?

Fuller: It certainly broadens the conflict, but maybe the timing was not so [much] chosen, as an internal Likud dynamic. It certainly raises the profile of the die-hard religious right in Israel, which is becoming the single most volatile force with terrible implications.

(Graham Fuller had just returned from an extensive visit to the West Bank, Israel and Tunis. His "The West Bank of Israel: Point of No Return" is available from the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA, tel. (213) 393-0411.)
Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Bird, Gene
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Theological Dialogue on Jerusalem

Walz, L Humphrey. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 50.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218795337?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Among some four dozen week-long conferences scheduled for Ghost Ranch Study Center near Santa Fe this summer will be the August 20-27 seminar on "The Liberation of Theology and the Peace of Jerusalem." It promises to "explore the ways in which theology has undergirded, confused, clarified, distorted and been distorted by" the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Hence the Ranch has invited three theologians from contrasting traditions to lead candid discussions in the light of their common conviction that, even in Jerusalem (cf. Psalms 137:5-9; Luke 13:33f), "God's spirit, rightly understood and obeyed, can open the way to both justice and peace.”

They are: Canon Naim Ateek of St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem, the Palestinian author of Justice and Only Justice; Prof. Marc H. Ellis, director of the Maryknoll Institute for Justice and Peace and author of Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation; and Rev. Robert Brashear, executive director of South Hills Interfaith Ministries (Pittsburgh) and co-author of the Presbyterian "study and reflection" paper, A Theological Understanding of the Relationship Between Christians and Jews.

Owned by the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Ranch operates its 21,000 acres without distinction of creed or racial origin, as is made clear in its 52-page 1990 program brochure (available from Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM 87510). For this "Jerusalem" seminar, it extends "a special invitation to members of local dialogue groups with interfaith and intercultural characteristics.”

Nearby, the Islamic Study Center welcomes visitors to its lecture halls, library, mosque and residences.

Soviet Jewry and Israeli Religion
Jews emigrating from the USSR to Israel are generally reported to be "religiously non-practicing." This, in the eyes of Prof. Mikhail Agursky of the Hebrew University's Center for Soviet and East European Research, can be a positive factor for the development of possible Israeli-fostered peace moves in the Middle East.

He views the newcomers as well-educated, urbane and unindoctrinated in the "religious" Zionist arguments for Israel's territorial expansion and ethnic repressions. Hence he considers them unlikely to be lured into the embrace of such militantly peace-resisting "religious" political parties as Agudath Israel, Kach and Tehiya.

However, the New Israel Fund (NIF) is troubled by clouds it sees in Agursky's crystal ball. Its major related concern is over the Shas Party's control of the Ministries of the Interior and Absorption. Those are the agencies which determine whether new immigrants are placed in "religious" or "non-religious" absorption centers and whether their children go to "secular, religious or ultra-Orthodox schools." Having this power of assignment under the control of a party dedicated to a heady mix of religious exclusivism and militant nationalism raises doubts about what the assignees' outlook will be after a year of conditioning.

Also the immigrants may very well import certain Soviet-generated prejudices which will handicap their adjustment to inter-religious realities in the Middle East; Muslim-bashing has characterized much Soviet coverage of the invasion of Afghanistan and the anti-Communist uprisings in Central Asia. This has hardly prepared departing citizens to seek comfortable coexistence with the mostly Muslim Arab neighbors amongst whom they are to be settled.

The same media's Israel-bashing, strangely enough, has further complicated those prospects. Victims of anti-Jewish discrimination in the land of Marx and Lenin tend to distrust such reportage and "assume that the Israeli government is an entirely blameless party to the...ongoing (Mideast) conflict. The truth," adds NIF, "is certainly more complex than that.”

(The New Israel Fund, 111 W. 40th St., New York, NY 10018, solicits support, primarily from Jewish Americans, for groups in Israel working for human rights, minority rights, women's rights, improved Jewish-Gentile relations, religious tolerance and other forms of democratization.)
Faith-Related Tourism
Travelers to the Middle East, especially to Jerusalem and adjacent communities, are increasingly interested in "people-to-people" approaches beyond the scope of familiar "people-to-places" tourism. Such, at least, seems to be indicated by the latest statistics from ETO (the Ecumenical Travel Office of the Middle East Council of Churches). Last year it handled more than 150 "alternative tours" to the region, a record number.

Established in 1983 in response to inquiries from parishes, ETO follows traditional tourist patterns in introducing its clients to the sites historically associated with formative events in Muslim, Christian and Jewish history. To these it adds opportunities to meet with leaders and members of the communities of faith which today provide living evidence of the continuing relevance of those events.

Depending upon the interests of particular groups, the meetings it arranges center around aspects of interfaith relations, human rights issues, the nature of Christian faithfulness in a post-colonial era and/or the Biblical demands for justice and peace in specific settings. (With outposts in other countries, ETO's central office is in Limassol, Cyprus -- P.O. Box 4259.)
Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Walz, L Humphrey
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Human Rights

Nyhan, Sally Clark. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 52.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218811427?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Congress Considers Human Rights Violations in Occupied Territories
The House subcommittees on Europe and the Middle East and on Human Rights and International Organizations held public hearings on May 9 on "Recent Developments in the West Bank and Gaza." Despite repeated calls for such hearings, these were the first since the outbreak of the intifada in December 1987. They quickly became a tense series of accusations against, and apologies for, Israeli actions in the occupied territories.

Chaired by Reps. Lee Hamilton (D-IN) and Gus Yatron (D-PA), the hearings received testimony from two panels. The first panelists were Richard Schifter, Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, and John Hirsch, Director of Israeli and Arab-Israeli Affairs in the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. Panel two presented testimony from Michael Posner, Executive Director of the Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights; Kenneth Roth, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch; Sarah Roy of the Center for International Studies; and William O'Brien of Georgetown University.

The hearings began with several congressmen's opening statements, most of which stressed Israel's "special relationship" with the US. Co-chairman Yatron, while acknowledging "perplexing and serious concerns" with the Israeli handling of the intifada, stated, "Clearly the threat posed to Israel's security by radical Arab states, all of which have deplorable human rights records, and Palestinian violence within the territories has prompted Israel to impose security measures which have stretched its ability to fully meet humanitarian standards.”

This set the tone for most of the opening statements, as various congressmen cited the human rights records of other Mideast countries as the "context" for Israel's offenses, and virtually every member focused more upon the number of Palestinians killed by other Palestinians (209) than upon the number killed by the Israeli military (646).

Rep. Lawrence Smith (D-FL), one of Israel's most vociferous congressional supporters, called Schifter, who has been accused of softening State Department drafts criticizing Israeli treatment of Palestinians, "a good friend and a good man." In his statement Smith did some soft-pedaling on his own, saying: "We will once again document what are the supposed human rights violations by Israel. Let's do it, the only thing is, for once maybe we ought to put all of what we do in context...So what I would ask is, just for a change, maybe a little balance, to understand that there's fault, but it certainly lies on both sides.”

In a carefully worded statement, Rep. Edward Feighan (D-OH) brought some balance to the proceedings, calling for "commentary on what I view as a missing dimension of American policy in the region, and that is more aggressive, direct support for direct communication and exchange between Palestinians and Israelis.”

Schifter Speaks
Schifter opened with a brief summary of his prepared testimony, and then apologized for Israeli actions in the occupied territories. He set the tone for his responses to questions by defending the seeming inability of the State Department to alter Israeli conduct and its unwillingness to apply the provisions of US law which call for suspension of US economic assistance to countries which engage in systematic denial of human rights. Schifter asserted that there was no country he spoke to more on human rights issues than Israel. In response to Rep. Yatron's question about lack of Red Cross access to Palestinian detainees, Schifter said, "The answer...as to the justification for delay is that a good many countries, after they have detained persons, interrogate them.”

Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) devoted the bulk of his questioning of Schifter to criticism of the purpose, tactics and participants in the Palestinian uprising. In a series of rhetorical questions, to each of which he insisted Schifter respond, he demanded to know if "the stoning of military vehicles," "the throwing of Molotov cocktails," "the torching of civilian automobiles," "the perpetration of terror," and "the murder of Israeli individuals," were internationally recognized human rights.

The dramatic highlight of the hearing was an exchange between Rep. Peter Kostmayer (D-PA) and Schifter. Kostmayer expressed disbelief when Schifter declined to characterize the Israeli policy of demolishing and sealing houses of Palestinians not charged with any crime as a human rights violation.

"And there is some question in your mind," queried Kostmayer, "as to whether [Palestinians'] most basic and fundamental human rights are being violated by the Israeli government. Is that correct?”

Replied Schifter: "Congressman, I don't know why you're picking an argument with me.”

With a dramatic sweep of his arm that included all of the members of the two subcommittees, Kostmayer responded: "No one else here will!" He then left the room to sustained applause from the spectators.

After this spontaneaous demonstration of public support for the Palestinians, the questions from some committee members perceptibly shifted to a more serious attempt to pin down the extent of Israeli violations of Palestinian rights. An exception was Rep. Mel Levine (D-CA), who had been absent during the applause that followed Kostmayer's statement. When Levine asked Schifter or Hirsch to confirm his statement that" many Palestinians have expressed that they want the Israeli army to patrol because it is the only entity between some degree of control in the territories and utter anarchy," the audience snickered as neither State Department official could bring himself to answer. After a whispered conference with a committee aide, Levine abruptly left the hearing.

The Second Panel
Due to the length of Schifter's testimony, members of Panel Two, consisting of three human rights monitors and specialists in the Arab-Israeli dispute, along with O'Brien, whose defense of Israeli measures was weakened by his admisssion that he had never visited the areas under consideration, were asked to give brief summations of their testimony, with a limited question period to follow.

Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch focused on the Israeli Defense Forces orders that allow soldiers to open fire when not in grave danger, and the deficiencies in investigating and punishing soldiers who exceed the orders.

Roth specifically called on Israel to:

"Restrict radically those rules of engagement that in practice have caused many deaths and serious injuries in situations that were not life-threatening; take steps to improve the impartiality, thoroughness and timeliness of official investigations into possible abuses by soldiers; and allow non-governmental monitors to pursue their human rights work without interference.”

Roth also criticized the US State Department's Human Rights Report for presenting the material on the occupied territories in a "disembodied manner that fails to convey systemic aspects of abuse.”

"I wish to conclude," Roth testified, "by voicing grave concern at reports that the office of Assistant Secretary of State Richard Schifter altered the chapter on the occupied territories more substantially than is commonly the case for other chapters. A senior source in the State Department told Middle East Watch that the changes effectively softened the picture of Israeli abuses that had been prepared primarily by diplomatic staff in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In our view...such apparent tampering is particularly regrettable.”

Michael Posner of the Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights said that Israel's use of the Ketziot detention camp is a violation of the Geneva Convention because it removes Palestinians from the occupied territories. He also called for families to be allowed to visit detainees and decried the practice of holding prisoners in "almost complete isolation" from lawyers and relatives.

Written testimonies by Amnesty International, ADC, the Foundation for Middle East Peace, and a number of other human rights organizations were also entered into the record of a hearing that, though clearly designed to play down Israeli human rights violations, instead turned the spotlight of public opinion on US violations of provisions of its own foreign assistance act that should trigger an automatic cutoff of American aid to Israel.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Nyhan, Sally Clark
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



ARAB-AMERICAN ACTIVISM

Willford, Catherine M. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 53.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796636?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

AAI Conference Attracts National Political Leaders, Media
Arab Americans attending the Fifth Annual Conference of the Arab-American Institute (AAI) "proclaimed their arrival as a political force in American politics," according to the conservative Washington Times, which, along with the liberal Washington Post, covered the conference.

Top officials of both national parties addressed the more than 200 attendees. "I wanted to come here and be with you to say that our arms are open, that our hearts are open, that our minds are open," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Ron Brown. "The 2.5 million Arab Americans in this country have a real role to play in the politics of this country and the Democratic Party is open to that participation.”

Edward J. Rollins, co-chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, urged the group to "make your activities pro-Arab and not anti-someone else." He advised that true success for Arab Americans will lie in electing "more and more Arab Americans to be a voice within, not just without.”

AAI Executive Director James Zogby noted that "even two years ago what happened this weekend would have seemed impossible. Political leaders coming here means that in a significant way we are being recognized as a legitimate constituency and that exclusion is a thing of the past." His institute has compiled names of 35 Arab-American mayors and hundreds of Arab Americans holding elective state or party offices.

Highlights of the conference included a tribute to Professor Edward Said of Columbia University, an eloquent spokesman for Arab Americans and a member of the Palestine National Council; former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson's call for "mass actions and mass demonstrations to challenge the conscience of the American public;" and a "Crossfire"-style debate between New Republic senior editor Morton Kondracke and syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan. The Washington Times reported that Kondracke "twice surprised the pro-Palestinian audience," first by stating, "Sure, I think there should be a Palestinian state," and secondly by acknowledging that the New Republic is "widely regarded as a Zionist publication, and correctly so.”

First-Ever Arab-American Youth Convention
Roots, a non-profit, Palestinian-American youth organization with 15 national chapters, scheduled a convention for "Arab-American youths from the age of three to adulthood," May 25-27 in Washington, DC. The theme of the convention was "Assimilating While Keeping Our Ethnic Identity.”

Mr. Ali Abu Taha, a mechanical engineer and recipient of the Challenger Society Award for his intensive investigation into the Challenger disaster, was selected to keynote the "outstanding Young Palestinian" awards luncheon at the convention. His prepared remarks urged Arab-American students to "make ethnic, religious, gender and other handicaps the impetus and not the road block to greater achievement.”

ADC Submits Testimony to Congressional Hearings on Israeli Abuses
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) President Abdeen Jabara submitted written testimony for inclusion in the official records of the May 9 public hearings held by the House subcommittees on Human Rights and on Europe and the Middle East on human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied territories.

Noting the global advance of freedom and democracy, Jabara asserted that "unarmed Palestinian men, women, and children in the past two-and-a-half years have suffered far more dead and wounded than the freedom demonstrators of Eastern Europe during the same period.”

Citing such examples of widespread Israeli human rights abuses as the April 16 assault on a peaceful procession of Eid al-Fitr celebrants in the Jabalya refugee camp that left 3 dead and 181 wounded, Jabara argued that "until the US government conditions its aid to Israel on an improvement in its human rights record and on a substantive and genuine effort to make peace, the policy of killings will undoubtedly continue.”

Highlighting a tragic incident that was "curiously omitted from the State Department's 1989 Report on Human Rights," Jabara stated that "the case of Amjad Jibril, a young Palestinian American who was murdered in cold blood last year after being seen in the custody of Israeli Defense Force troops, was yet another appalling incident which received little coverage in the US media and was hardly addressed in the halls of Congress.”

The ADC president focused particular attention on the "disturbing trend" of increased attacks against Muslim and Christian institutions by Israeli soldiers and militant settlers. With specific reference to the recent illegal occupation by Jewish extremists of the Greek Orthodox St. John's Hospice, Jabara noted that, "despite claims to the contrary, the Israeli government funded settlement of these extremists [using] funds that would undoubtedly be unavailable were it not for the massive amount of US aid to Israel." The ADC testimony concluded by urging Congress to acknowledge the ongoing pattern of gross violations of human rights by Israel and to suspend further aid, pursuant to the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act.

NAAA Campaigns to Reopen Palestinian Universities
The National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA) is supporting legislation introduced by Congressman Howard Nielson (R-UT) expressing the sense of Congress that Israel should take immediate steps to support reopening the six universities in the West Bank and Gaza that have been closed for over two years. Co-sponsors of this resolution include David Bonior (D-MI), William Dannemeyer (R-CA), William Dickinson (R-AL), James Hansen (R-UT), Jimmy Hays (D-LA), Joe Kolter (D-PA), Jan Meyers (R-KS), Thomas Petri (R-WI) and Richard Stallings (D-ID).

In announcing the campaign to reopen Palestinian universities, Executive Director Jawad George noted the success of the "I Want to Learn" program spearheaded in 1989 by NAAA, which helped win passage of congressional legislation. That legislation, also introduced by Congressman Nielson, called for the reopening of primary and secondary schools in the occupied territories. "NAAA's work in Washington and in congressional districts around the country will be a joint lobbying effort with Arab-American and other groups," George stated, "Passage of the resolution will require support from a wide range of organizations, including sympathetic American Jewish groups.”

While calling school closures a persistent Israeli form of collective punishment, the NAAA executive director was optimistic that "many members of Congress who care deeply about human rights and value the importance of education will overwhelmingly endorse this humanitarian and trust-building resolution.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Willford, Catherine M
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Jewish Groups Celebrate Passover with African and Arab Americans

Barron, Andrea. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 54.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218815935?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

While most Jews throughout the world sat down to a traditional Passover Seder in April, the Jewish Committee for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (JCIPP) and the Washington, DC Chapter of New Jewish Agenda celebrated the 3,000-year-old Jewish holiday with local African Americans, Palestinians and other Arabs. Jews gather together at Passover to read the Haggadah, which recounts the story of how Moses led his people out of bondage in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land.

Seder organizers explained that, "the Jewish groups wanted to reach out to two local communities -- Palestinians and African Americans -- still struggling for freedom and full equality. Palestinians continue to fight for self-determination and an independent state in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and African Americans, for economic and political rights in a nation that brought them to its shores in chains.”

Omar Kamhieh, a Palestinian American born in Lebanon, worked with JCIPP member Franca Brilliant in adapting the traditional Haggadah by including poems and texts about Palestinian and Black history. Kamhieh said he had never been to a Seder before but found it easy to identify with the suffering of the Jewish people under the Egyptian Pharoah. "The Seder is about Jewish oppression," he said. "We Palestinians can identify with the Jews in ancient Egypt, and with how they ended up being scattered throughout the world. That's what happened to us.”

This was also the first Seder for Mohammed Al-Orabi, the political counselor from the Egyptian Embassy. Al-Orabi said that the experience showed him how important it was for Jews, Christians and Muslims to study each other's religions because this "broadens understanding." He noted that the Koran, the Muslim Holy Book, also tells the story of the exodus from Egypt.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Barron, Andrea
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Jewish Groups Rebuke Israel

Barron, Andrea. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 54.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218793023?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Jewish groups Iashed out at Israel with unusual intensity for helping 150 Orthodox Jews occupy St. John's Hospice, a building in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City owned by the Greek Orthodox Church. After first denying any involvement in the matter, Israel then admitted that its Housing Ministry had funneled $1.8 million dollars to the settlers to help them purchase the Hospice from an Armenian businessman who claimed that he held the lease.

The American Jewish Congress said it was "appalled" that Israel had participated in a "clandestine effort to settle Jews in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem" and warned that this "controversial and polarizing action (could) endanger the prospect of US support of Israel generally and of desperately needed housing guarantees for Soviet Jews specifically." (Israel has requested $400 million in loan guarantees to house Soviet immigrants.)
Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president of the Reform Union of American Hebrew Congregations, called Israel's role in the hospice controversy "unconscionable and self-destructive." Even the more conservative B'nai B'rith International issued a statement critical of Israel's action.

Not all Jewish leaders, however, were as clear in their opposition to Israel's role. Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt from the Washington Chapter of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) said that, while he personally believes what Israel did was "inappropriate, ill-timed and unnecessary," he was bothered by the implication that Jews should not be allowed to settle in the Christian Quarter. "It almost seems like promoting segregation on the basis of religion," Rabbi Weinblatt said.

Meanwhile Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen laid some of the blame for Israel's "miserable state" on American Jews. He said part of the problem is that US Jews give Israel money but "rarely a piece of their mind. Maybe less of the former and more of the latter would, in the long run, do Israel more good." He noted that, while most major American Jewish organizations protested the hospice settlement, protest isn't enough. "Maybe it's time for American Jews to do two things at once -- open their mouths and close their checkbooks.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Barron, Andrea
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Trade and Finance

Haldane, John T. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 55.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218795288?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Kuwait and USSR Sign Oil Agreement
Faisal al-Kazmawi, Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Company (KUFPEC), signed an agreement in Moscow in March for cooperation with Soviet companies. The Soviet oil exploration company, Technoexport, and KUFPEC are expected to sign a joint venture agreement soon. The two companies already are working together on exploration in Kuwait's Babra oilfield.

Mr. Kazmawi said that exploration opportunities for KUFPEC in two fields located in the Soviet Republic of Turkmenia are under consideration. The two sides also discussed cooperation in oil exploration in South Yemen. KUFPEC may be invited to participate in the development of production-sharing acreage in the northwest Shabwa area, which has been allocated to the Soviet Union by the South Yemeni government.

Studies also will be undertaken to consider joint oil investment companies which would operate in third countries.

Algeria Pushing LNG Exports
Faced with a serious decline in its oil production, Algeria is embarking on a massive expansion of its gas industry through the 1990s, with pipeline gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to be greatly increased. In 1989, Algeria exported 14.9 billion cubic meters (bcm) of LNG, making it the world's second largest LNG exporter after Indonesia. Algeria already is the Middle East's leading gas producer, with an output of 44.2 bcm in 1988.

Algerian exports of LNG to the United States rose from zero in 1987 to 49.6 million cubic meters in 1988 and to 1.1 bcm in 1989. Sonatrach, the state gas marketing company, could well be selling about 13 bcm/year of LNG in the US market by the mid-1990s. The re-establishment of a strong gas export business with the US is a key component of Algeria's drive to compete in established and new international markets with such countries such as Nigeria, Norway and the USSR.

Sonatrach plans to increase its liquefaction capacity from 30.5 bcm/year to 35 bcm/year by 1992. Western Europe and the US represent Sonatrach's principal markets in the immediate future, but Algeria is anxious to develop new markets in India and the Far East. Assuming success in its marketing efforts to find export markets for 35 bcm/year, a further expansion to over 50 bcm/year is planned in the decade from 1995.

US-Arab Chamber Sponsoring Visits
The National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring two trade events in June. A delegation of about 12 members of the chambers of commerce and the private commercial sector from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will visit several US cities, beginning in Washington and including Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta and/or Detroit. The delegation will give briefings to the American business community about legal and economic developments in the Gulf Cooperation Council which make the UAE desirable for US investment and trade.

A group of Saudi businessmen will visit Los Angeles the week prior to the opening of the cultural exhibition, "Saudi Arabia: Yesterday and Today." Following the pattern set in Washington, Atlanta, Dallas and New York, the group will meet with business and community leaders and host student round-tables at local universities.

Moroccan Outlook Brightens
Morocco, the Arab world's oldest monarchy, is making significant progress in restructuring its economy. Since 1980 it has received considerable financial backing from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, France, Spain and Saudi Arabia.

Morocco began the 1990s by passing a privatization bill and by starting to work on a foreign trade code, limiting state involvement in the economy and simplifying regulations, to be published this year. In January the government began the process of privatizing 113 of the country's 700 state-owned banks, hotels and industrial plants.

Rabat continues to improve the environment for foreign investors. There has been a move away from limiting foreign ownership of Moroccan companies to 50 percent and toward permitting foreign control of boards of directors. Import duties have been cut on raw materials and foreign exchange procedures and bank guarantees have been streamlined. As a result, foreign manufacturers are beginning to use Morocco as a base for exporting to the Middle East and Africa.

Morocco's economic resources include the world's richest phosphate reserves, a large workforce, a tourist sector which earns $1 billion annually, rich fishing grounds and an agricultural sector far more developed than those in most Middle Eastern and African countries.

According to the IMF, "Morocco's long-term prospects remain favorable, based on the authorities' firm commitment to a growth-oriented adjustment strategy.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Haldane, John T
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Miramar

Shadroui, George. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 30, 1990): 56.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218811486?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

By Naguib Mahfouz. Three Continents Press, 1990. 156 pp. List: $11; AET: $9 for one, $11 for two.

It has been more that 20 years since Naguib Mahfouz's book, Miramar, raised the hackles of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser by questioning the efficacy and honesty of the 1952 revolution.

Nasser's displeasure should have been anticipated. Miramar was a political work thinly disguised as a love story and it had little good to say about either the old or the new political and social elite in Egypt.

The characters who gather at the Miramar, a pension in Alexandria, represent movements or institutions that existed both before and after the revolution. For example, Zohra, the servant girl, is modern Egypt, desperately seeking to free herself of traditional forces that would trap her in poverty and oppression. Mariana, the owner of the pension, symbolizes Egypt prior to the revolution. She is no longer desirable, but she shares with the older guests a nostalgia for a glorious -- if imaginary -- past.

Zohra's prospective lover, Sarhan, is the personification of the revolution, purporting to love Zohra but unwilling -- because of Zohra's humble peasant background -- to accede to her longing for an honorable relationship cemented by marriage.

Other characters are also easily recognizable as players in 20th-century Egyptian history. Two of the characters are of the landed class, decadent and exploitative, both unwilling and unable to take responsibility for their reckless and self-indulgent behavior. The two journalists appear to be, respectively, the past and present Ward movement, Egypt's powerful nationalistic force during the first half of the 20th century. Neither has the strength of character to shape events in the pension or to rescue Zohra from the unscrupulous men who seek to use her for their own pleasure without regard for the consequences she might suffer after the fact.

Like most of Mahfouz's work, Miramar is filled with pathos and hopelessness. As John Fowles writes in the introduction, "What haunts his novel, indeed, is something deeper than disillusion: despair at the eternal and cruel dilemma of his country...history and geography are the fundamental villains: or the nature of things.”

Fowles raises an important issue when he attributes to Mahfouz this predeterministic mindset -- that is, the inevitability of the characters' fates. Novels with a political or ideological agenda usually don't work. The characters are trapped in a political paradigm. They are as empty shells on a table, to be manipulated and moved by design. They seldom come alive as individuals who shatter our expectations by acting in ways even the writer failed to foresee. In the best fiction, the characters control the story as much as does the writer, who may conceive the plot but will usually be surprised by the depth and independence of his characters. The more subtle the political symbolism, the more believable the story.

Having placed himself at such a disadvantage, it is remarkable that Mahfouz succeeded in making Miramar a compelling story. His characters do carry metaphorical baggage, but they come alive because Mahfouz gives them complexity and sharpness. Zohra's fierce pride, Mansour Bahy's resigned desperation and Hosni Allam's decadent lifestyle are captured with insight, honesty and even humor.

Mahfouz's descriptive abilities are perhaps his most powerful artistic tool. These are displayed most vividly in his novels Midaq Alley and the Trilogy, but they are evident in Miramar as well:

I liked the weather in Alexandria. It suited me. Not days of clear blue and golden sun; I also liked the occasional spells of storm, when the clouds thickened, making dark mountains in the sky, the face of the morning glooming into dusk. The roads of the sky would be suddenly hushed into ominous silence. A gust of wind would circulate, like a warning cry or an orator clearing his throat; a branch would start dancing, a skirt would lift -- and then it would pounce wildly, thundering as far as the horizon. The sea would rage high, foam breaking on the very curbs of the street. Thunder would bellow its ecstasies out of an unknown world: lightning would coruscate, dazzling eyesight, electrifying the heart. The rain pouring down would hug earth and sky in a wet embrace, elements mixing their warring natures to grapple and heave as if a new world were about to be born.

Since he won the Nobel Prize in 1988, Mahfouz's work has received wider publication and a great deal more attention. This makes Miramar that much more interesting. The book is distinct from earlier work set mainly in Cairo. In Midaq Alley, for example, Mahfouz brings the streets and his Cairene characters into sharp focus. But in Miramar, he tries something stylistically different and politically daring. First, his use of metaphor -- seen in his earlier book, Children of Gebelawi -- is carried to the modern scene. He then tells the story from different points of view so that the reader sees the same events through the eyes of different characters.

As Mahfouz is studied, this book will be recognized for the risks it takes and the courage Mahfouz showed in writing it. It may be true -- as some western critics argue -- that he is not a great novelist in the class of Tolstoy, Dickens or even Hemingway, but Mahfouz's contribution to the evolution of the novel as art form in the Arab world is undeniable.

As for Zohra and Egypt and the bleakness in which they are immersed, it might be useful to recall Mahfouz's own comments in an autobiographical essay.

"My novels are not sad by intention. I am, however, a melancholy man from a generation that has felt overwhelmed in sadness even at moments of joy, a generation in which only the indifferent and the rich -- never the popular classes -- have been able to hold on to a kind of happiness. It is therefore not strange for us to write sad stories. It would be odd for us, on the contrary, if we wrote happy ones.”

Miramar is not a happy story, but neither is modern-day Egyptian history a carnival. Egypt has suffered defeat on the battlefield, poverty and repression at home, and scorn from her Arab neighbors. It is a country beseiged by staggering overpopulation and structural economic deficiencies. Mahfouz's book is a glimpse into a wounded Egyptian psyche, but in the end even he resists total despair. Zohra -- mother Egypt -- is a strong, earthy creature. She is struggling to survive, but she has not been beaten.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (Book cover, Miramar)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Shadroui, George
Publication date Jun 30, 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



An Assassination in Switzerland

Curtiss, Richard H. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 1990): 9.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218793236?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

As US military aircraft headed west from Damascus with ailing American hostage Alan Polhill, released from captivity in Lebanon April 22, and malnourished and angry American hostage Frank Reed, released April 30. American media depicted the releases as a triumph within Iran's Islamic Revolutionary regime of "moderates," headed by Iranian President Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

A check of air traffic headed east, however, leads to different conclusions. In the brief interval between the releases of the two Americans by Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi'i kidnappers, terrorists allegedly operating from the Iranian Embassy in Berne and the Iranian consulate in Geneva assassinated Dr. Kazem Rajavi, a distinguished Iranian opposition leader.

A Quick -- and Assisted -- Exit
Immediately after the assassination, Iran Air delayed the departure of its weekly direct flight from Geneva to Tehran for an hour and 18 minutes. Then, after some passengers arriving in a flurry of Iranian diplomatic vehicles were hustled through airport formalities and directly onto the aircraft, it took off for Tehran. With it, colleagues of the slain Iranian opposition leader said, went two officials sent to Switzerland to manage the assassination. They were Hadi Najafabadi, Iranian ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, and an Iranian named Akhoundzadeh, said to be the coordinator of his government's terrorism abroad.

Their actions and escape, members of the Iranian resistance charged, were carried out under the supervision of Mohamed-Hossein Mala'ek, Iran's ambassador to Switzerland. In 1979, Mala'ek was one of the "Students Following the Line of the Imam" who held American diplomats hostage in the US Embassy in Tehran for 444 days until 15 minutes after the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan in January 1981. Mala'ek later worked with the same Hezbollah extremists still holding American hostages in Lebanon.

Americans once discounted stories of presidential emissaries traveling on false passports to conduct shady secret missions. Then, in May of 1986, former White House National Security Adviser Robert C. (Bud) McFarlane turned up at the Tehran airport. He was disguised as an Irish cargo handler and bearing a Bible signed by President Reagan and an Israeli cake in the shape of a key. He was engaged in an Israeli-recommended "opening to Iranian moderates," supposedly led by present Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The assassinated Dr. Kazem Rajavi was the brother of Massoud Rajavi, the Iraq-based leader-in-exile of Iran's largest opposition movement, the People's Mojahedin. Dr. Rajavi's murder is just one more blood-soaked chapter in the history of an Iranian fundamentalist regime which apparently hasn't changed at all, since Rafsanjani inherited the mantle of leadership from the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. It is portrayed as "moderate" only by pro-Israel elements in the US media and Washington think tanks who still hope to restore the Israel-Iran axis that prevailed in the time of the Shah.

Kazem Rajavi, 56, was shot in the head at close range by one of two machine gun-wielding men in a Volkswagen that blocked the road as he was driving to his home outside Geneva on April 24. Married and the father of three children, he had held a professorship for more than 10 years at Geneva University, in addition to representing the Iranian Resistance at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and Geneva-based United Nations organizations. In 1971, when his brother Massoud was sentenced to death by a military tribunal serving the Shah, Kazem Rajavi led a successful international campaign which resulted in commutation of his brother's sentence to life imprisonment.

Kazem Rajavi, who quit after serving for one year as the Khomeini regime's first ambassador to the European headquarters of the UN, had requested increased protection from Swiss authorities in 1987 after he was threatened by an Iranian official with a gun. Recently he requested it again after Siroos Nasseri, current Iranian ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told him in the presence of witnesses in late February that he would be "liquidated." Another senior Mojahedin leader, Hossein Mir-Abedine, was wounded in an unsuccessful March 14 assassination attempt in Turkey.

People's Mojahedin spokespersons in the United States said there were tape recordings of Iran's consul general reporting immediately after the shooting that one of the assassins was safe in the Iranian consulate in Geneva. Swiss authorities promised a vigorous investigation.

People's Mojahedin leader Massoud Rajavi, whose first wife and sister were both executed by the Khomeini regime, said the assassination of his brother was the result of a recent report by UN Special Representative Reynaldo Galindo Pohl claiming that Iran's leaders had ceased torturing and publicly executing political prisoners in Tehran's notorious Evin prison.

"75 Kinds of Torture”

Last April 11th in Geneva, Dr. Rajavi charged that the UN report was in error. He said that of more than 90,000 Iranians executed by the Islamic Revolution regime in the past 10 years, 23,000 of the executions were carried out after the August 1988 ceasefire with Iraq, and many of those since Khomeini's death in June 1989 and Rafsanjani's assumption of power. The assassinated leader had also claimed the regime presently holds 150,000 political prisoners, and routinely practices "75 kinds of torture.”

On May 10, Congressman Jim Bates (D-CA) paid tribute in the US House of Representatives to the slain Dr. Rajavi and called upon President Bush and the UN secretary general to "take all necessary steps" to halt "the cowardly acts of terrorism." On May 15, Congressman Thomas J. Bliley, Jr. (R-VA) also paid tribute to Dr. Rajavi as "a great educator and a paradigm of service to the cause of human rights in Iran.”

Dr. Rajavi's body was interred in Kerbala, Iraq, the burial place of the Prophet Muhammad's murdered grandson, Hussein. Ironically, in the absence of a peace treaty with Iraq, only Iranian opponents of their country's fundamentalist regime are able to visit this holiest shrine, after Mecca, for Shi'i Muslims, the majority branch of Islam in Iran.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Curtiss, Richard H
Publication date Jun 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



How Palestinians View Soviet Jewish Immigration to Israel

Collins, Frank. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 1990): 14.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218798589?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Few issues since the intifada began have stirred Palestinians as much as the present mass immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel. One can easily understand this. Here are a people who were dispersed by the Israelis in 1948 and 1967 and their land confiscated to make way for Jewish settlement. Now they are being pushed aside again for the benefit of newcomers to this ancient land.

Most Palestinians living in foreign lands are refugees who fled before the Israeli army and who now fear that the new Soviet Jewish immigration will end any chance of their ever returning to their homeland or even to that small part of it that may eventually become the new Palestine.

Those living in the occupied territories fear that the flood of Soviet Jews will increase the intransigence of Israel and result in the indefinite prolongation of a peace settlement. To these Palestinians, Shamir's statement last January that a "big Israel" is needed for the settlement of Soviet Jews, no matter how often it is subsequently denied, remains the true declaration of the Israeli intention to annex the occupied territories.

Lastly, the Palestinians living within the Jewish state can only expect a worsening of the discrimination, economic and social, that they face daily. Lavish funding of the Soviet Jewish immigrants is seen as threatening even the present meager funding levels of their municipalities and their social services.

While the Israeli government has made strenuous endeavors for the past 40 years to induce Jews living anywhere in the world to immigrate to Israel, it has made the return of ethnic Palestinians to Palestine almost impossible. Reunification of separated Palestinian families has been held to a minimum. According to then-Minister of Defense Yitzhak Rabin, of a total of 88,429 applications, only 13,509 were approved between the years of 1967 and 1987. Since the beginning of the intifada, virtually no applications for family reunification have been granted.

In addition to this heartless separation of Palestinian families, the occupation authorities are imposing conditions on travel permits issued to some Palestinians in the occupied territories that cause them to lose residency rights on their return. The treatment of the Palestinians is quite consistent with the policy of "population transfer" supported by such extremists as Rabbi Meir Kahane and Rehavam Ze'evi. Whatever the official statements of Israeli leaders, including those of both major political factions, the government has shown by its actions that it completely supports such a policy.

Jewish Settlement Figures
The actual position with respect to Jewish settlements is this: 70,000 Jewish settlers now live in the West Bank, at an annual cost of $7,000 per settler. In addition, 120,000 heavily subsidized settlers live in occupied East Jerusalem. In the densely populated Gaza Strip, more than 35 percent of the land has been confiscated for the use of 2,700 settlers.

To add to the injustice of all of this, there are constant calls from Israeli politicians to Judaize the occupied territories by building more settlements and expanding existing ones. Caretaker Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir hastened to announce a new settlement, Dugit, in the Gaza Strip immediately after promising President Bush that there would be no new settlements. He then took steps to create another four settlements in the West Bank.

To date, at least, the Soviet Jewish immigrants are not settling in the occupied territories in large numbers, in spite of efforts by the present settlers to induce them to do so. Excluding occupied East Jerusalem, as the Israeli government always does, the Israelis say that less than one percent of the incoming Soviet Jews are settling in the occupied territories. However when occupied East Jerusalem is added, the figure jumps to 10 percent.

Even if the percentage figures remain as above, the impact of the arrival of the Soviet Jews on settlement activity in the occupied territories will surely grow. The available housing in central Israel, in and around Tel Aviv, Israel's largest city, is limited and will soon become completely exhausted. The heavily subsidized settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, will become very attractive economically to both Israeli and Soviet Jews as the available housing in central Israel becomes fully occupied.

"Fungible" Funds
In the past, American grants to Israel have required only a promise that the specific money provided by the grants would not be spent on settlement building in the occupied territories. But of course, as Secretary of State James Baker III has already noted, the money is fungible. Past grants to Israel have freed up other Israeli government funds which then have been spent on Jewish settlements. To correct this situation, the Bush administration is now insisting that Israel agree that no new settlements will be built or old ones expanded in the occupied territories including East Jerusalem, period. So far, the Israeli government has refused to agree.

The possibility of an Israeli-Palestinian peace depends on the Bush administration standing firm on its insistence that no funds be provided to Israel that will enable the building of more settlements in the occupied territories. If funding continues to be provided by the United States, it takes no imagination to foresee a tremendous surge in the building of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, with the aim of extinguishing hopes for a Palestinian state. This policy can only lead to generations of conflict.

Not even Israel claims that the occupied territories are juridically part of Israel. Therefore, the assumption by Israel of the right to decide which Palestinians may be residents of the occupied territories is illegal. In fact, such an assumption of power is expressly forbidden under the several international conventions concerning occupied territories. Israel, therefore, has acted illegally in excluding the right of return of ethnic Palestinians to the occupied territories and also in promoting the immigration of non-Palestinians to these territories.

The US, on the other hand, in denying funding for the building of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, is acting in accordance with the international conventions.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Collins, Frank
Publication date Jun 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Dole Attacks "Dangerous Nonsense”


Wamsted, Dennis J. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 1990): 20.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218784986?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

House Highjinks
In a display of incredibly poor timing, the House of Representatives voted 378 to 34 on April 24 in favor of a non-binding resolution recognizing Jerusalem as the official, undivided capital of Israel. The move, which prompted angry denunciations from both Christian and Muslim communities throughout the Middle East, came just two days after Robert Polhill's release following 39 months in captivity in Lebanon.

Despite its lopsided nature, the vote was preceded by a spirited debate on the House floor, where a number of senior representatives voiced either serious concern or outright opposition to the measure. In particular, Reps. David Obey (D-WI), Lee Hamilton (D-IN) and David Bonior (D-MI), three members of the Democratic leadership, voted against the measure. In addition, Minority Leader Robert Michel (R-IL) expressed strong concern about the measure, although he ultimately voted for its adoption.

Rep. Bonior was particularly caustic in his remarks. "This resolution is untimely," he said. "It will upset an already very precarious situation in the Middle East.”

Consideration of the resolution at this time is "particularly and especially pernicious," Bonior noted, because of the recent revelation that Israel's Likud Party secretly channeled funding to Jewish settlers in the Christian sector of Jerusalem.

"The Likud government has been lying, lying, about the action, saying that they were providing no such aid," Bonior declared. "This resolution will be seen, I think, as an affront to the Arab community, to the Christian community and to the Greek Orthodox community. It will undermine the efforts of those in the Arab community who are trying so hard to build support for the Baker [Secretary of State James Baker's peace] plan.”

Rep. Obey, who chairs the powerful House Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee, questioned the wisdom of the House in voting on this resolution, and others like it. "I believe on more than one occasion this House has not served well the causes for which we stand, when we needlessly and gratuitously...comment as a body on issues of the day in ways which are not well thought out and in ways which do not contribute to the solving of the very problems about which we profess our concern.”

A vote on the resolution would be "ill-advised," Obey continued, urging its sponsors to withdraw the measure. Perhaps most worrisome, he said, is the possible damage the resolution might do to American credibility in the region. "For America to play a constructive role in the Middle East, we need to have good relations with a number of parties...To be effective in promoting negotiations, we must be credible to all parties, not just one, and I do not believe that passage of this resolution at this time will contribute to that credibility.”

Dole's Lonely Stand
Unlike years past, when Senate action on a pro-Israel measure would be immediately forgotten in Washington despite its negative impact in the Middle East, Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole (R-KS) has refused to let his colleagues forget their late March decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Although initially a cosponsor of the resolution, which was adopted by voice vote without debate on March 22, Dole subsequently repudiated the measure, terming the Senate's action a "mistake.”

This turnabout, as well as his earlier call for an across-the-board cut in funds earmarked for Israel and other large recipients of US foreign aid, sparked a highly unusual letter from four Republican leaders in the House of Representatives. The letter was signed by House Republican Whip Newt Gingrich (GA), as well as Reps. Duncan Hunter (CA), Bill McCollum (FL) and Vin Weber (MN). In their letter, the four criticized Dole for questioning the motives of American Jewish leaders, writing that "such personal attacks send a negative message that does damage to our party.”

Despite this criticism, Dole held his ground, defending his actions in a speech on the Senate floor in late April. "These kinds of resolutions, hastily prepared and even more hastily passed, are nonsense. Dangerous nonsense," Dole told his colleagues. "And we ought to do something about it." Dole added: "The issue is whether the Senate of the United States should be jumping into the middle of an extremely sensitive situation without looking [and] in many cases, without even thinking first.”

Aid Debate
In another surprising development, Sen. Dole sharply questioned the decision to provide $400 million in housing guarantees to the Israeli government to pay for the resettlement of Soviet Jews. The guarantees are included in an emergency supplemental appropriations bill virtually certain to become law. Nevertheless, Dole singled out the guarantees during an early May floor debate, asking his colleagues to consider the proposal's true cost to American taxpayers.

"Some have asserted that this program -- since it is a loan guarantee, and not a direct appropriation -- is free; no cost to the taxpayer. That is just not the case," Dole said. "Clearly there will be administrative costs. I know of no program ever devised by the mind of legislator or bureaucrat that did not cost any money to run.

In addition, fees generally levied to offset the program's costs will be waived in this instance, Dole said, adding that the Agency for International Development estimates that this will cost the US Treasury "in the neighborhood of $25 to $30 million over the life of these loans.

"The bottom line: This $400 million loan guarantee will cost the American taxpayer...more than if we simply gave the $400 million to Israel this year.”

Even beyond the issue of cost, Dole continued, is the question of what Israel will do with the US loans. "The existing US program requires countries that receive these guarantees to earmark 90 percent of the funds to build housing for people with below-median income. However, the current proposal would waive that requirement for Israel," Dole pointed out.

"As a result, this guarantee could be used to support luxury housing, at virtually any price range. There are no restrictions -- and, in fact, no government management or oversight, period -- in the law, none. This is, in effect, a blank check.”

Finally, Dole raised a broader issue for his colleagues concerning future aid requests, both for Israel and other countries. "We need to end the practice of knee-jerk approval of certain kinds of proposals. In this age of deficit crisis at home, and vastly expanding foreign aid needs overseas, every program must be scrutinized carefully, no matter which country is the recipient. I wish we had the resources to meet all the important needs of our own society. I wish we had the resources to respond generously to the legitimate needs of every ally and every friend, including...Israel," Dole concluded. "But we do not. We just do not have it.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Wamsted, Dennis J
Publication date Jun 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



An Interest in Middle East Events Turns Into a Quest for Truth

Drake, Laura. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 1990): 26.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218797167?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The year was 1981, at the height of the Iranian hostage crisis. The release of the hostages seemed imminent, the voices of the nightly newscasters euphoric. Bright yellow ribbons displayed on the antennas of thousands of cars around the nation symbolized the shared outrage at the Iranian action, and the shared American hope that the hostages might finally come home.

In the middle of all this, a new president was about to be inaugurated to take the place of the unfortunate Jimmy Carter, whose reelection campaign had been crippled by an aura of impotence in dealing with Iran's relentless Ayatollah. At age 16, these events were enough to transform me from an apathetic high school student into an individual suddenly interested in the world around me.

After the hostages returned physically unharmed, my interest in the region not only did not subside, but grew stronger. As I watched the nightly television news, I began to observe variations in how the news was selected and reported. Reports and pictures filled our screens of oppression by tyrannical regimes -- in South Africa, the Philippines and, of course, Iran. People seeking freedom were being harassed, imprisoned and tortured by the cruel, self-important dictators under whom they lived.

Two Sides to Every Issue -- Except Palestine
But then there was Palestine. To me, the situation there seemed similar to that in many other parts of the world. Yet our news media, without exception, depicted Palestinians not as oppressed, but as terrorists. For some reason I did not yet understand, Palestinians were being treated differently by the news media. These were the same media which acknowledged that there were two sides to every issue -- except the issue in Palestine.

Israeli government actions, which struck me as analogous to those of any other repressive government, were instead portrayed as part of the heroic resistance of a tiny nation under a constant state of siege. Israel's enemies were barbaric Arab states, populated by faceless, bloodthirsty terrorists. The state of Israel had been proclaimed in 1948, but our media gave the impression that it had endured senseless, incessant warfare since Biblical times.

It did not take me too long to discover that the modern state of Israel was in fact created on land stolen from an Eastern people in order to right a wrong that had been committed by one Western people against another. My own sense of justice, however, could not accept punishing one party for the crimes of another. It slowly dawned on me that the US media has delegitimized the Palestinian-Arab liberation struggle by attaching to it a label that inspires universal horror and condemnation: terrorism.

I set out to learn why. By the middle of my senior year, after many long hours in the city library, I had not only "seen the light," but found myself obsessed with the idea that the truth must come out. To symbolize my personal commitment, I made a Palestinian flag out of cardboard and hung it in my locker at school. At this point I was 17 years old and only one event away from becoming a political activist.

From Knowledge to Political Activism
That event was the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. I graduated from high school on June 5, 1982, the day before the invasion. After the ceremony, I went home to watch the news reports of Israeli troops massing on the Lebanese border. Three days later I was at my first demonstration. A month later I was on public radio denouncing the invasion, and reporting news for the Arab Radio Program in San Francisco.

My horror at US inaction during the initial weeks of the invasion was only exceeded at summer's end. Then, after the PLO evacuated Beirut under a pledge of US protection for the families they were leaving behind, Israeli forces moved into West Beirut and provided cover for the massacres by Lebanese militiamen of those same Palestinian families at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps.

Realization of a Dream
I began to dream of going to Jerusalem in order to better understand the Palestinian situation. Two years later, on a hot, humid summer evening in 1984, I stepped off a plane onto the tarmac of Ben Gurion airport in Lydda. It was, without question, the most emotional moment of my life.

My yearlong stay in Palestine just confirmed what I already believed -- that the Palestinian people have the right to be free and independent in their own country and to combat the Israeli effort to erase the Arab character and identity, and even the people themselves, from that land. I witnessed the daily humiliations faced by the Palestinians who are allowed to live in their own country. I felt their sadness at the fact that the greater number of their compatriots continue to live in forced exile.

A Personal Experience of Israeli Repression
I even experienced personally a small dose of Israeli repression. I was awakened from a sound sleep by four Israeli soldiers at my doorstep. From my apartment I was taken to the Moscobiyyah detention center in Jerusalem, where I was made to stand in blazing sunlight along with dozens of Palestinians to find out why they had taken me.

All I had to show them was the paper the soldiers had given me, stating my name and religious status -- in their words, "minority." I was told I had been summoned by the military government. Then I underwent a half-day interrogation by a man who said he was from the Shin Bet and had come up from Tel Aviv. I was threatened with physical harm and with deportation, and was finally released at about 4 p.m. For the rest of my stay I was subjected to various forms of harassment, ending with a humiliating four-hour search at the airport on the day of my departure.

Since then, I have earned an M.A. in international affairs and have spent time in several Arab countries. More than ever, I am driven to work for a change in US public opinion. The children of the intifada, through their courage and sacrifice, have begun this process, enabling thousands of Americans finally to "see the light." I believe that it is the duty of each of us who has finally penetrated to the truth of this matter to help our fellow Americans complete the same journey. When they do, the Palestinians can be liberated from tyranny, and Americans from the falsehoods that sustain it.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Drake, Laura
Publication date Jun 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Facts for Your Files: A Chronology of US-Mideast Relations

McMahon, Janet. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 1990): 29.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218797229?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

April 2: US State Department spokesperson Margaret Tutwiler, responding to reports that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir planned to begin work on five new Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, reiterated the US position that the settlements are "an obstacle to peace.”

- President Saddam Hussein of Iraq denied that his country possessed nuclear capability, but said Iraq would use its chemical arsenal against "whoever threatens us with the atomic bomb.”

April 3: Israel successfully launched its second experimental satellite, thought by some military experts to be a military reconnaissance probe.

April 4: Former US President Jimmy Carter met with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and French President Francois Mitterand in Paris.

- Israeli Labor Party leader Shimon Peres said he had enough parliamentary support to form a new coalition government.

April 5: The Arab Cooperation Council, comprising Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen, called for a ban on nuclear and chemical weapons in the Middle East, a proposal seconded by Syria.

April 6: The State Department confirmed that it had expelled an unnamed Iraqi diplomat stationed at that country's UN mission in New York, while a federal grand jury in California issued an indictment against a former driver for the mission on charges of plotting with an Iraqi agent to kill two opponents of President Saddam Hussein's regime who were in the United States.

- In an interview with Italy's state television network, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat said he has had secret contacts with Israeli leaders to discuss the Middle East peace process and the intifada.

- At a reconciliation ceremony near Herat in northwest Afghanistan attended by Afghan rebels and government officials, at least 10 people were killed and 50 wounded when gunfire broke out between the participants.

April 7: Tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated for changes in their country's electoral system, as the government's latest crisis entered its fourth week.

April 9: The Bush administration cancelled an aerospace trade mission to Iraq following Iraq's expulsion of a US diplomat.

April 10: The Abu Nidal Palestinian extremist faction released a French woman, her Belgian companion and their daughter, who had been held hostage since November 1987. French President Mitterand thanked Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi for "the decisive role he played.”

April 11: Israeli Labor Party leader Shimon Peres' proposed coalition government collapsed, only hours before it was scheduled to be voted on in the Knesset. Peres was unable to secure support from a majority of the 120 Knesset members after two religious party members defected because an orthodox rabbi in Brooklyn, NY came out against land-for-peace negotiations. Israeli President Chaim Herzog gave Peres an additional 15-day extension to try to put together a new coalition.

- India sent 1,000 troops to the state of Kashmir following the killing of three hostages and the bombing of a commuter train by militant Muslim separatists.

- British customs officials seized from a shipment bound for Iraq eight steel cylinders, which they said could be used for a huge 130-foot gun barrel. Iraqi officials and the British manufacturer of the cylinders said they were to be used as replacement parts for an oil pipeline.

April 12: Israeli troops used tear gas to disperse clergymen, including Jerusalem's Greek Orthodox patriarch, who were protesting the occupation of a building complex in the Old City's Christian Quarter by Jewish settlers, who said they had purchased the building with the help of funds from the Israeli government. The occupation took place on the eve of Easter Week celebrations.

April 13: Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole (R-KS), leading a delegation to the Middle East, called last month's non-binding Senate resolution recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel "a mistake.”

April 16: Demonstrations in Tunisia and the occupied territories marked the second anniversary of the assassination of PLO leader Abu Jihad in Tunis by Israeli commandos.

April 17: A Jerusalem District Court panel upheld an order evicting 150 Jewish settlers from a building complex in the city's Christian Quarter, but allowed the settlers to seek another delay in the eviction.

- At least nine people were killed and 50 wounded in fighting which took place in west Beirut between rival Shi'i factions, and in east Beirut between rival Christian factions.

April 20: Thousands of Muslim fundamentalists marched silently through Algiers, demanding parliamentary elections within 90 days and the creation of an Islamic republic.

April 22: American Robert Polhill, kidnapped in January 1987, was released in Beirut by the Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine.

April 23: Sudanese forces loyal to the government of Maj. Gen. Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his 15-man military council foiled a coup attempt against the government.

- The Trilateral Commission, whose influential members include banker David Rockefeller and former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzesinski, called for the creation of an independent Palestinian state and for a halt to the Middle East arms race.

April 24: The US House of Representatives, by a vote of 378 to 34, approved a nonbinding resolution supporting a unified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

April 25: Bush administration officials said that Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, had agreed to a request by newly elected Nicaraguan President Violeta de Chamorro to reorganize the Sandinista foreign intelligence apparatus.

April 26: Following Labor Party leader Shimon Peres' failure to form a new coalition government, Israeli President Chaim Herzog asked caretaker Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to attempt to form a government.

April 27: Dozens of Christian churches and holy sites were closed in protest of an occupation by Jewish settlers in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem. In support of the protest, Muslim leaders closed the Al Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock to tourists.

April 29: The entire Gaza Strip was placed under curfew for Israel's observance of Independence Day and the following Remembrance Day. In a speech marking the latter, Prime Minister Shamir pledged to continue Israel's settlement drive.

April 30: A second US hostage, Frank Reed, administrator of a Lebanese private secondary school, was released in Lebanon by a previously unknown group, Islamic Dawn. The Bush administration thanked both Syria and Iran for its efforts. In other developments in Washington, the State Department issued a report labeling Iran and Syria as state supporters of terrorism and a statement criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Shamir for torpedoing a US peace initiative that was "on the verge" of arranging Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author McMahon, Janet
Publication date Jun 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Seventeen-Year-Old Artist Portrays the Intifada

Sosebee, Stephen J. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 1990): 35.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218793092?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

The red, green, black and white flags are raised at the martyr's funeral; a large one is draped over the casket above the crowd. Hundreds of boys are holding hands and chanting; some are masked in keffiyahs. Those in the middle raise their fists and make victory signs as the casket is passed overhead. The martyr's picture is held high, his expression reflecting that of the boys in the crowd: young, determined, strong. The scene captures the essence of the intifada. Youth -- dead or alive -- is its soul.

Such is the powerful scene conveyed in a painting by Salwa al-Sawalhi, one of Palestine's young and talented new artists. Her 27 paintings on the intifada depict with child-like realism the pain and suffering that her people have endured under Israeli military occupation, as well as the rebirth of the pride and hope that the intifada has provided.

Already, 17-year-old Salwa has given dozens of interviews on European television. Just before Christmas, CNN filmed her at work. Her paintings on the intifada were made into 3-by-5-inch cards by the Association of Artists in the Gaza Strip. Within weeks, foreign visitors had bought every card.

Born a Refugee
Born on January 24, 1973 in the Rafah refugee camp near the Egyptian border, Salwa is the middle child in a family of four brothers and seven sisters. Her parents trace their roots back to Jaffa. Like 700,000 other Palestinians, they were forced to flee their land during the 1948 war, and prevented by the Israelis from returning.

Salwa's subsequent education under the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which administers humanitarian services for the millions of stateless Palestinians throughout the Middle East, brought her into contact with Issam Hillis, the arts and crafts director of UNRWA's department of education in the Gaza Strip.

"About five years ago my eyes caught sight of the work of this young girl whose drawings seemed much more clear than the other children's," explains Issam. "She was only 12 then, but I knew immediately that she had great potential and I encouraged her to pursue her interest in art further.”

A respected Palestinian artist in his own right, Issam bought Salwa supplies and provided her with professional guidance. Her work placed first in UNRWA's annual art contests.

A Crucial Turning Point
"It was the intifada which was the turning point in her development as an artist," Issam says." In early 1988, her art on the uprising began to reveal great emotion and depth.”

Shy and smiling, Salwa explains: "Before the uprising, I drew things that I liked: the children in my camp, the sea or the sky. But after the start of the intifada, I began to draw about the soldiers and the shebab (boys) and Palestine because it is now so much a part of my life, a freedom for me.”

The brutal life in one of Gaza's most crowded refugee camps, where scenes of graphic violence between civilians and the occupying army take place daily, has also influenced Salwa's initial style of child-drawn realism. She watched soldiers enter her home and beat her father and brother.

"Because she is still quite young, we decided not to change her drawing style, even after the subject of her work matured. For that there is still plenty of time," Issam explains. "For now, her studies and practice are what is most important. Her style will gradually mature as her knowledge and practice of art increases.”

Salwa's formal training consists of a six-month oil painting course at Gaza City's YMCA, as well as a course in graphic art and watercolors, all taught under Issam's supervision. Foreign artists she lists among her main influences, however, include Robert Du Floss, Leonardo da Vinci, Bob Betels and Francisco Jourge.

It is her fellow Palestinians who have had the greatest impact on her work, she says. "Rahab el-Nimery from the West Bank, Kamal el-Marany, Awad Abu Armana and, of course, Issam Hillis, are my favorites, but I like many others as well.”

Though Salwa is probably too young, and already too well-known, to be targeted by Israeli authorities, many of her fellow Palestinian artists have been jailed and had their art confiscated and destroyed for putting nationalist themes on canvas. Asked if she fears Israeli authorities may find a way to halt her own work, Salwa's eyes narrow and she leans forward as she declares: "I'm not afraid of getting into trouble, not at all. I draw real things that I see and hear -- the truth -- and the soldiers can't deny it.”

Issam advises Salwa to continue both her general and artistic education to develop her natural abilities to their highest level. Salwa agrees: "I want to study art in France and to teach others drawing, and to help people in their life.”

For now, however, Salwa is consumed by the Palestinian revolt. "The intifada has changed many things for us; it has made us want an independent Palestinian state more and more," she explains. "The Palestinian people will stay here and we won't die. Even if they kill us all, Palestine will live forever and it will always be ours.”

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.

Photo (Salwa al-Sawalhi)


INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Sosebee, Stephen J
Publication date Jun 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



USS Liberty Revisited: New Information, Still No Investigation

Ennes, James M, Jr. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 1990): 39.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218793175?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

June 8 marks 23 years of America's cover-up of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. Washington Report readers know the story well: a deliberate daylight attack by Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats that nearly sank the ship and killed 34 and injured 171 men, incriminating reports by survivors, a falsified account by Israel, and a stubborn refusal by the American government to review the evidence or to resolve the discrepancies. Survivors have worked ever since to persuade our government to listen to their stories and review the evidence. So far they have been frustrated at every turn.

The typical congressional reaction is a letter asserting that the Liberty issue was thoroughly investigated in 1967 and that no incriminating evidence was found. The matter is closed, they say.

The past year brought more of the same, but also some striking progress, and equally striking evasions.

Two Remembrances
For example, the town of Grafton, Wisconsin remembered the USS Liberty in 1989 by building a $600,000 public library and naming it "The USS Liberty Memorial Public Library." The generous gesture was sadly marred by protests organized by spokesmen for Israel, who orchestrated angry editorials, hostile news stories, TV commentaries, and letters to editors complaining that any recognition of the attack on the Liberty was insulting to Israel. Picketers marched at the dedication ceremony, some carrying swastika posters, in an attempt to smear the name of the ship. The library's dedication ceremony became so controversial that local officials stationed an armed SWAT team on the roof to ward off trouble.

Similar protests occurred in Keene, New Hampshire, when a local college sponsored a USS Liberty discussion there. Letters of protest, mostly unsigned or signed with phony names and fictitious addresses, bombarded the area newspapers for months.

Among the most persistent arguments from Congress is that this event occurred too long ago to be investigated. Evidence and witnesses would be too difficult to find, they say -- blindly ignoring offers from survivors to provide all the evidence and witnesses they could possibly examine.

Which Came First, 1967 or 1942?

Yet 1989 was also the year that 92 members of Congress signed or otherwise supported a statement on behalf of a Wisconsin veteran of WWII who claims he was deprived of a Medal of Honor for heroics in 1942 -- more than twice as long ago. According to the veteran, he killed over 500 Japanese single-handedly.

"He was denied the Medal of Honor due to blatant anti-Semitic sentiment," the congressmen wrote in a letter to the Secretary of the Army. Senator Herbert Kohl (D-WI) wrote not one but six strongly worded letters all but demanding that the medal be issued.

In fact, however, the veteran's "evidence" was sparse, weak, contradictory, and said to have been partially forged. Others in his military unit said his story was untrue. Experts said his claimed exploits were impossible. But none of that prevented members of Congress from lining up in his support, and only a shortage of time prevented even more from trying to help. The veteran was even permitted to testify personally on his own behalf before the House Armed Services Committee -- a privilege Liberty survivors are still denied.

Eventually the Army persuaded the Congress that the veteran's claim was without merit. "If Congress can listen so carefully to that one lone veteran with little or no evidence and a 47-year- old story, why does the same Congress refuse to listen to us?" survivors asked. "We stand over 100 strong. We all tell the same story. We can prove our attackers are lying. We are supported by top officials of the era. But the same Congressmen who helped that WWII veteran usually won't give us an appointment, much less a hearing.”

For supporters of the Liberty, however, the year 1989 was most important for a little-noticed but critical change in the US government's response to inquiries.

Questions about the Liberty usually are sent to the US Navy's office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) in Arlington, Virginia, for reply. Until 1989, JAG has answered all questions with a terse but evasive statement: "The attack was fully investigated in 1967. Crewmen were interviewed and records were reviewed. No evidence of a deliberate attack was found. The matter is closed.”

A Change in Position
In 1989, however, after persistent complaints from survivors and a thorough re-examination of the official records by at least one senior staff officer, JAG suddenly changed its position.

Now congressmen as well as members of the public who ask the Navy about the attack on the USS Liberty are told: "The Navy Court of Inquiry's investigation focused on communications problems and the crew's efforts in controlling damage. Sensitive international issues were best left for diplomatic and political consideration.”

Clearly, the Navy has finally abandoned its claim that its investigation vindicated Israel. Now the Navy admits that its own inquiry only looked into communications problems and the crew's performance in combat. The question whether Israel deliberately attacked a ship it knew to be American was left for diplomats and politicians -- Congress -- to resolve. And Congress has failed to do its job. This is an important and dramatic reversal!
This is what we survivors have been saying for 23 years. The attack on the USS Liberty has never been investigated by anyone except to probe the performance of its own crew! Meanwhile, the excuses members of Congress use for evading this vital issue are either contradicted by Congress's own actions, or declared invalid by the Navy.

The State Department internal inquiry in 1967 into Israel's excuse that the Liberty was misidentified as an Egyptian vessel concluded that the Israeli excuse was not true. So the US government knows that Israel is lying, but it chose to pretend to accept at face value Israel's claim that it was all a tragic accident.

In 1980, then-Senator Adlai Stevenson III, after grilling me for two hours about the attack, was asked by a staff member why Israeli goodwill should be risked by reopening the USS Liberty issue. Senator Stevenson replied: "Because the American people deserve to know the truth." That statement is as valid today as it was then. All that is needed is a single member of Congress with the courage to place the American national interest ahead of the wishes of the Israeli lobby.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Ennes, James M, Jr
Publication date Jun 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Soviet Jews, the US and Middle East Peace

Quinlan, C Patrick. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 1990): 48.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218798648?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

European Jews targeted by anti-Semites. Entry to US restricted. Arabs protest Zionist recruitment of Jews for emigration to Palestine. Are we back to the '30s?

It's today, the story of the Soviet Jews, their dreams of America, and their second choice: Israel, aka Palestine, now a land of Jews and also Palestinian Arabs.

Freedom of emigration for Soviet Jews has been a US policy objective for two decades, enacted into law through the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which conditioned Soviet-US trade upon free emigration for those Soviet citizens who held a Jewish (rather than Ukrainian, Georgian, etc.) nationality card. The law was counterproductive: Jewish emigration was further restricted. But free Jewish emigration remained a US objective.

Enter Gorbachev, glasnost, perestroika, and freedom to emigrate for Soviet Jews.

A new question arose: were Soviet Jews still endangered and thus political refugees -- or were they just people seeking a better life in America, like most African, Asian, and Latin American visa applicants? Should there then be a separate quota for Soviet Jews apart from other would-be emigrants from the USSR?

Our government decided finally to straddle the issue by placing a cap on Soviet Jewish immigration of 40,000 per year, and thus also resolved another long-standing dispute. This was between the Israeli government, which in accord with historic Zionist ideology called for all Jews to come to Israel, and the American Jewish establishment, which, having led the fight for Soviet Jewish emigration, felt obliged to welcome all Jewish refugees who prefer to come to our shores. Soviet Jews had previously opted for the US over Israel by nine to one.

Gorbachev's glasnost, however, also revealed an old, seamy side of Russia, anti-Semitism. This, or expectations of it, sparked a new emigration of Jews refused by the US but welcomed by Israel.

Now enter the Palestinians and their Arab supporters -- and memories of a half-century ago. Then, allegedly with the encouragement of Zionist zealots seeking to build a Jewish homeland in Palestine, the United States and many other Western countries closed their doors to most of the European Jewish refugees. Those refugees had nowhere to go but Palestine.

The Population Equation
Here the population equation emerges. For 40 years Israeli Arabs have grown in numbers faster than Israeli Jews: one in seven Israelis is a Muslim or Christian Arab. Over the past two decades there has been a net outflow of Israeli Jews. Add the 1.8 million Palestinian Arabs in the areas controlled by Israel since the 1967 war, and it was estimated that in another 15 years there would be more Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians under Israeli governance than Israeli Jews.

"Peace Now" advocates in Israel had long cited this as an argument for a territorial settlement offering the Palestinians "land for peace." This is also the UN Security Council Resolution 242 formula, and it has been stated US government policy since 1967.

The numbers of Soviet Jewish emigrants to Israel grow by the day, and some Israelis estimate that as many as 750,000 Soviet Jews may eventually arrive. This would defuse, or at least postpone for a decade, the Palestinian "demographic bomb." It would also stimulate further demands for Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Shamir has already spoken of the need for a "big Israel." Larger Jewish settlements in the West Bank, however, mean stronger resistance to territorial compromise and diminish chances for peace.

So, as we Americans limit immigration of Soviet Jews, we restrict the negotiating area of the Palestinians and Israelis, and lessen the chances for a compromise. And, in the view of the Palestinians and other Arabs, we are seen as repeating the sins of the last two generations of Americans: encouraging Jews to flee anti-Semitism in Europe but, at the behest of Zionists, seeking to divert the flow of Jewish refugees to Israel, where they displace Palestinians, rather than welcoming them to our own shores.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Quinlan, C Patrick
Publication date Jun 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Thirty-Six on Capitol Hill Deserve Your Letters

Findley, Paul. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  2 (Jun 1990): 51.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218798418?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

New members of the Council for the National Interest -- the grassroots organization that works exclusively for America's national interest in Middle East policy -- almost always ask: "What can we do to help?”

My answer: always congratulate promptly and warmly the members of Congress who break with positions demanded by Israel's lobby and do the right thing for America. And complain vigorously to those who don't.

This advice may seem so elementary and obvious that it need not be stated. Think again. It is almost always ignored and needs to be repeated over and over again.

Most citizens who get upset by news reports or commentary on the latest blows to America's national interest in the Middle East cool off before they take pen in hand or pick up the telephone to convey their feelings to representatives on Capitol Hill.

Exceptions to the Rule
There are, happily, exceptions. I correspond with several dozen scattered across America. Three come immediately to mind: a school teacher in Decatur, IL, a retired neurosurgeon in Greenville, SC, and an electronics engineer in Towaco, NJ. I have an ever-growing file folder jammed with copies of letters these three people tirelessly send to Capitol Hill, newspaper editors and others they want to influence. Whenever my spirits lag, I can return to high gear just by noting the steady growth of these files.

Take the word of someone who served in the House for 22 years: letters and calls count mightily. Your representatives on Capitol Hill rarely go against what they perceive to be the wishes of their constituents. Why? Simply put, they want to survive come election day and, with rare exceptions, are guided by constituents on most issues.

They pay careful attention to mail and phone calls from home. They get big bundles from the postal service several times a day, but most of it is the " inspired" or "manufactured" variety that is easily culled out. The genuine letters written on a constituent's kitchen table never make a high pile and take only a few minutes to count and answer.

Foreign policy issues normally produce so few constituent letters that a dozen or so on a single topic will send the office Richter scale zooming. For five years I was the storm center of Middle East controversy on Capitol Hill, and during that time, except for the steady flow of communications from people supporting Israel, a week that brought 20 Middle East-related letters was a big one.

At the same time, the supporters of Israel keep up the mail and the phone calls. Where the Middle East is concerned, Israel's lobby has a network that promptly produces quality communications when the need arises. But, with few exceptions, the American national interest -- as distinguished from Israel's -- elicits little response.

From this, it is sensible to conclude that members of Congress will change their votes on Middle East issues only when they hear a clear demand from home.

Occasions for Appreciation
Once in a while, a few congressmen show courage. When that happens, the grassroots applause should be prompt and thunderous, but sometimes there is none -- only bitter rebuke. In 1984, for example, 39 congressmen voted with Representative Nick Rahall to cut from a foreign aid bill a $250-million gift earmarked for aircraft production in Israel. All 40 got vigorous protests from pro-Israel constituents but almost no word of approval. Who could blame the 40 for concluding that, in narrow political terms, they made a mistake?

You may have to wait a while before your own House and Senate members do something commendable on Middle East policy, but you can thank today several legislators who have taken on Israel's lobby. They are the 34 House members who voted against H. Con. Res. 290 on Jerusalem.

Although less than 10 percent of the House membership opposed the resolution, it is the first time in six years that even 34 mustered enough nerve to challenge pro-Israel forces.

Two others deserve a warm note. One is Bob Dole, Republican Senate leader, who made a speech on the Senate floor admitting with refreshing candor that his vote a week earlier for a similar resolution was a "mistake." The other is Congressman Peter H. Kostmayer, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, who recently asked hard, penetrating questions on Israel's violation of Palestinian human rights -- queries that no one on a House subcommitee had the courage to raise.

These 36 legislators deserve piles of letters written from America's "kitchen tables," including yours. Your letter need be only one sentence long. In fact, short letters are best! (Address Dole at US Senate, Washington, DC 20510; all House members at US House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515.)
All of these legislators are under hostile fire from pro-Israel forces. They need reassurance that grassroots America notes and appreciates what they have done. If they hear only complaints and no applause, they will have reason to believe that, in the future, they need listen only to Israel's voice.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Findley, Paul
Publication date Jun 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



What Leaders of the Intifada Say Behind Closed Doors

Collins, Frank. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  1 (May 1990): 7.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218792375?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

I have spent most of my time during the past six years in occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip getting acquainted with the Palestinian people, their thoughts and their activities. When I first arrived, I was struck by their weariness with the occupation, and by their apathy. The intifada has changed all that.

During the past several weeks, I have talked with many young Palestinians, including ex-prisoners and the "wanted," and representatives of the several PLO factions in the local leadership of the intifada. The meetings took place mainly in private homes, often with my hosts on the lookout for soldiers patrolling the area.

These interviews revealed a remarkable consensus among the PLO factions as to the direction of the intifada and its problems. While the discussants tended to magnify differences of opinion among the PLO factions, in fact the variations regarding strategy and tactics among those with whom I talked were small. Thus I feel justified in combining their answers to my questions, using the collective "we," rather than attempting to report each dialogue separately.

Goals of the Intifada
We want peace and recognition of the state of Palestine in the occupied territories. Everything that the Israelis do to us makes us believe that the Israelis do not want peace, but war and our expulsion from our homeland.

Shamir's Election Proposal
From the very first, we believed that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's elections proposal was only a game to win time to put down the intifada by military means. What has happened in the last year shows that we were right. The quick attempt of the United States to sponsor a "peace process" based on Shamir's ploy shows that some Americans wanted the same thing.

What Israelis Want
The fall of the Shamir government and the subsequent political maneuvers are of little interest to us. We believe that Shimon Peres wants the same things as Shamir, but is more hypocritical about it. Whatever Israeli government is formed, it will be against us and against a free Palestine. The real Israeli plan is the transfer of as many Palestinians as possible out of Palestine, maybe not now but over the years. They want to make life so miserable for us that we will leave voluntarily. Some of us are afraid that Shamir wants to kill many more of us to stop the intifada. Most of us think that if he does it will set the whole world against him.

The Intifada Leaders and the PLO
Except for the small minority who support Hamas (the Muslim fundamentalist party), the support of the PLO among the rest of us is very nearly 100 percent. Outside of some details, the various factions in the PLO are in essential agreement about the tactics of the intifada. There is working unity between the PLO factions outside and those inside, and a thousand channels of communication between them. Intifada actions are jointly planned by the inside and outside factions, and agreed upon by the PLO as a whole.

What Hamas Wants
Hamas generally supports actions of the intifada, although its final goals are very different. Hamas wants the whole of Palestine, while the PLO is prepared to settle for Palestine in the occupied territories. Some of the Hamas actions divide the Palestinian people.

PLO Concession to Israel
We believe that the PLO has conceded to the Israelis everything that is needed for negotiations to begin with PLO acceptance of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 together with giving up armed struggle. The PLO has received nothing in return from Israel. We are opposed to making more concessions as we believe that they will gain us nothing. Some of us want to go back to the original 1947 UN resolution for the partition of Palestine, with its more equitable division of land between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The Intifada Will Continue As Long As Necessary
The intifada will continue until the Israelis end the occupation, even though it may take years. We are not tired and our morale is good. Our suffering will not be in vain, and in the end we will win as in Algeria. Our patriotic struggle is of many kinds, only partly stones and Molotov cocktails. We believe that it is gaining the sympathy of people everywhere.

Unarmed Resistance vs. Armed Struggle
We believe that the present methods of struggle in the intifada are working, but we need further development of the intifada in all areas. Armed struggle did not work in the 20 years that we tried it. If it seems to our advantage, we may go back to armed struggle, but only with the complete agreement of the PLO, inside and outside.

Organization of the Intifada
The strength of the intifada is that it is a democratic struggle in which everyone participates and it is organized by representative committees in every village and camp. The committee memberships are nominated by each of the several factions in the PLO, with additional independent individuals selected because of their special abilities. This is also the structure of the national PLO.

The Problem of Collaborators
Those who collaborate with the Israelis are a very big problem. They help the Israelis by terror tactics, and they inform on political activists to the Israeli occupation forces. Nearly all of those who collaborate do so because of drugs, which make good people bad. We are making a big effort through Palestinian drug abuse centers to rehabilitate the people who collaborate because of drugs. The use of drugs in Palestine has dropped by more than 90 percent. But what are we to do with the big collaborators who push drugs furnished by the Israelis? Killing is a last resort. It is a decision by the village committees, and not an individual action.

These responses, of course, do not cover everything that these young Palestinians talked about, only the highlights. Some of the answers also merit additional discussion.

Above all is the sincerity of the acceptance of the two-state solution by the intifada leaders. Several of the young Palestinians made statements along these lines: "Of course, I would like all of Palestine, which the Israelis took away. My grandparents were expelled from inside the Green Line. Many Israelis would like to take the whole of Palestine. But neither is possible. The only solution I can hope for is to live in peace in the new state of Palestine, and perhaps some day see a confederation of Israel and Palestine.”

The Influx of Soviet Jews
All of these young Palestinians are bitter about the immigration of Soviet Jews, while Israel does not allow Palestinians who are outside to return to their homes within Israel, or even to return to the occupied territories. The Palestinians say that the clear intention of the Israelis is to settle the Soviet Jews in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, just as Shamir said. They say that the immigration of the Russians should be delayed until the Palestinians have the right of return. One of the Palestinians with whom I talked said that there were ecological population limits, among them the growing shortage of water. He fears that Russian immigration means that the Palestinians will simply be pushed out.

A Broad Based Movement
Not one of the Palestinians with whom I talked wanted a resumption of armed struggle, not even members of the Popular Front. The reason is clear. The armed struggle was carried out by a tiny minority. By contrast, virtually the whole population is participating in the largely nonviolent intifada. The struggle of a few radicals has been converted to a broadly based people's movement.

Loyalty to the PLO
There was unanimous and enthusiastic support of the PLO among all those with whom I talked. The theory that there is a non-PLO constituency that can be split off and negotiated with is downright silly. However, this is the notion behind the proposition that elections must be held in the occupied territories before negotiations can begin.

The killing of collaborators is deeply troubling to every Palestinian with whom I have ever spoken. Israeli occupation is possible only with a network of Palestinian collaborators. They are not only informers, but many also commit violence against their fellow Palestinians. As traitors to their people, they are more hated than the Israeli soldiers. In recent years, the Israelis have enlisted drugs as a weapon of the occupation. Drug addicts are particularly vulnerable to coercion by the Israelis. While intifada leaders have been largely successful in reducing the use of drugs, there remains the question of what to do about the drug pushers. Under the condition of the occupation, the Palestinians have found only one answer.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Collins, Frank
Publication date May 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Currents of Political Liberalization Flowing in Arab World, Too

Dunn, Michael Collins. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  1 (May 1990): 8.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218796077?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Some commentators have argued that the democratic changes sweeping Eastern Europe and making themselves felt from Mongolia to Nicaragua have not been felt in the Arab world. No Berlin Walls have fallen, no Ceausescus have been shot by firing squad, but from the Atlantic to the Gulf there are signs of new political openness, multipartyism, a freer press and demands for more. There is definitely a wave of change building in the Arab world.

Single Party Strength
Historically, even those Arab countries which had formal multiparty systems have tended to be dominated by a single party, with the smaller parties essentially limited to providing constructive criticism. This was true of Egypt before the 1952 revolution and again of Egypt since the restoration of a multiparty system in the 1970s. Although the ruling party wins elections comfortably, the opposition is vocal, and its press surprisingly free and sometimes outrageous. It can even bring down a government official, as when al-Sha'b published tapes of Interior Minister Zaki Badr threatening to arrest a wide range of Egyptian leaders.

In Tunisia, a similar situation has prevailed. Although since Habib Bourguiba's departure in 1987 there has been a great liberalization of the political system, in the 1988 elections the ruling party won all the seats. Recently it has offered some concessions, changing the electoral system to encourage opposition victories in local elections. The opposition, however, wants new national parliamentary elections. And the single most powerful opposition force, the Islamic Nahda movement, is still barred from formal party activities.

In Morocco, there has been a long tradition of party life and party newspapers, but the parties have always been basically supportive of the monarchy and have little real power. There have been efforts to shift the balance a bit, however, and give more genuine power to the mulitparty parliament.

Algeria has been the real surprise in North Africa. Until 1988, the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) saw itself as a genuine revolutionary party which claimed to represent all elements of society. That claim was shattered in October 1988 by attacks on party offices and violent riots throughout the country. Since then, dozens of political parties have come into existence. Many of them represent small factions but others, such as the only currently fully legal Islamic party in the Arab world, have a great deal of support. The press has also become vigorous and pluralist.

Multiparty Traditions
Sudan, with a history of vigorous multiparty competition is one Arab country where the tide has been flowing the other way. Last year a civilian, multiparty government in Sudan was overthrown by the military. But the new military rulers seem uncertain and insecure.

Another country with a tradition of democratic multipartyism is Lebanon, though its "parties" have always been communal, religious, or even family/feudal in their orientation. Despite the incredible impediments created by the civil war and the factions within society, parliament managed to meet twice last year and constitutionally elect two presidents, Rene Muawwad and, after his assassination, Elias Hrawi.

In Jordan, where parties had been banned for more than 20 years, withdrawal of Jordan's claim to the West Bank made it feasible to hold new parliamentary elections. The Parliament elected last year includes a broad mix of nationalists, leftists and Islamic revivalists. The strong showing by the Muslim Brotherhood captured international media attention, but in Jordan the Brotherhood has long supported the monarchy. The government is now moving to allow the restoration of political parties, which are already functioning in all but name.

Iraq is seeking to open up the National Assembly to greater pluralism. The new constitution, due to see the light of day later this year, is expected to call for a multiparty system and a free press, though what restrictions there may be on these, and on who can participate in political life, remains to be seen.

Saudi Arabia and the other states of the Gulf have long observed the tradition of the majlis, in which a ruler meets regularly with any of his subjects who wish to bring complaints to him, and to the tribal tradition of shura, or group consultation, which results in government by consensus rather than by individual fiat. The Arab states of the Gulf contend, therefore, that they have successfully functioning democratic systems, far better adapted to Arab and Islamic traditions than Western parliamentary formulas.

Kuwait, however, also has a tradition of parliamentarianism dating back to the 1920s. In recent years, ironically, the history of Kuwaiti parliaments has been regularly punctuated by their dissolution, when an Amir tired of endless debates or harsh criticisms.

Last December, with the events in Eastern Europe drawing so much attention, a number of former Kuwaiti parliamentarians and local leaders began holding political discussions at their own homes. Kuwaiti authorities soon found that crackdowns merely spurred more protests. In March, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Sheikh Sa'ad al-' Abdullah, indicated that he had concluded that Kuwaitis wanted a return to an elected parliament this year. At this writing the ruling family is still discussing new "regulations and criteria," but the return of some sort of parliament in Kuwait now seems nearly certain.

Elsewhere in the Arabian Peninsula, both Yemens are seeking political liberalization and unification. North Yemen held elections in 1988 for an Assembly which, while parties per se were banned, saw the emergence of interest groups representing Islamic, Arab nationalist and other movements. Marxist South Yemen has committed itself to a shift to a multiparty system. Skeptics may say that it is simply reacting to cutbacks in Soviet aid, but it is also opening up its economy to foreign investment and seems to be embarking on a real period of change.

Changes in the Arab world have not been as dramatic as those in Eastern Europe, because few of the existing regimes are totalitarian or so oppressive that change seemed impossible. But single-party systems are giving way to multi-party systems and the press is proving more vigorous throughout much of the region. Democratic expression creates the necessary climate for a change to democratic institutions, and freedom of expression has been growing apace. Those who say that the waves of democracy have not reached the Middle East have not been paying attention.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Dunn, Michael Collins
Publication date May 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Who Suffers When Criticism of Israel Is Equated With Anti-Semitism?


Curtiss, Richard H. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  1 (May 1990): 9.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218795906?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

"Healing has come slowly to Jewish students at the American University, where vandals scrawled anti-Semitic slurs on a main gate and a dormitory wall last week," the two-column report in a recent issue of the Washington Jewish Week begins. "Although the offensive graffiti were removed within hours of their discovery last Thursday morning and the university moved swiftly to condemn the act, students continued Tuesday to seek outlets to vent their shock and anger.”

The story quotes at some length such expressions by Jewish students, who make up about 30 percent of the Washington, DC university's student body, and denunciations of "bigotry" by the director of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League's local office and the president of the university.

Only one sentence describes the outrage itself: "Among the spray-painted graffiti were a slur on `Israel Zionists' and a pictogram equating a Jewish star with a swastika." A photo shows only a Star of David, an equal sign and a swastika on an otherwise blank wall.

The American University has large numbers of Arab students and, as on campuses across the nation, dozens of male and female American students routinely wear the checkered black and white Palestinian kuffiya as a scarf or headdress. Without the Washington Jewish Week's guidance, therefore, and bearing in mind the fact that the Star of David is emblazoned on Israel's flag, military and civilian aircraft, and as an ideogram on many items made in or associated with Israel, passersby could be forgiven for interpreting the three-character "pictogram" as a statement in algebraic form that "Israel is Fascist" or "Israelis are Nazis.”

Yet the attack was described in the national capital's authoritative Jewish publication not as "anti-Israel" but "anti-Semitic." To state the obvious, if the vandals had intended an attack on Judaism, American Jews or Jews in general, they would very likely have made this clear by drawing a menorah. They certainly would not have referred to them as "Israeli Zionists.”

A great many American Jews criticize the policies of Israeli extremists like Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Shamir, particularly since the latter's stubborn refusal to accede to US requests to implement his own West Bank elections plan. Such American Jews would be deeply offended if leaders of mainstream US Jewish organizations informed them that their criticisms of Israel make them "anti- Semitic." Yet, they unprotestingly allow mainstream Jewish leaders and journalists to apply that term indiscriminately to non-Jewish critics of the same Israeli leaders and policies.

They also tolerate semantic tricks such as that in the quotation at the top of this column by Charles Krauthammer, a national board member of Americans for a Safe Israel, an advocacy organization associated with right-wing Israeli leaders. Syndicated columnists Krauthammer, William Safire, and A.M. Rosenthal seem to have joined other aggressive American apologists for Israeli intransigence in equating all criticism of Israel with callous anti-Semitism.

How extremely destructive this is to the long-term credibility of both Israel and American Jews is illustrated by a mid-March poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC television. Sixty-three percent of the Americans polled, and more than half of American Jews, agreed with Senator Bob Dole's proposal to shave aid to Israel and the four other leading foreign aid recipients so that the US can help friendly regimes in Central America and in Eastern Europe. From answers to other questions the Journal concluded "that the public considers even West Germany or Japan to be more of a friend to the US than Israel is.”

Do American Jews really want the leaders who speak in their names to equate the criticisms of Israel by a growing American majority with "anti-Semitism"? Depicting criticism of current Israeli stonewalling of the peace process as anti-Semitism will have virtually no effect in stifling such criticism. It may, however, eventually take the sting out of a charge used so loosely, and unfairly.

Exploiting Genocide
Equating criticism of specific Israeli actions with anti-Semitism will seem to many Americans to be a repetition of what is increasingly perceived as cynical media exploitation of the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. When, month in and month out, new films based on the tragic Nazi German genocide against Europe's Jews are shown on US television, it begins to seem that the aim is not so much to prevent such horrors from happening again, but to ensure that, 45 years after the Holocaust, Israel continues to receive special treatment when the US allocates its dwindling world-wide foreign aid.

Syndicated columnist Richard Cohen, a sincere but sometimes critical supporter of Israel, capsulizes that feeling with a suggestion that few non-Jewish writers would dare to advance: "I come now to the Holocaust Museum currently being erected on the Mall. I have always doubted its appropriateness. The Holocaust, to which most of the museum would be dedicated, was not an American experience. The United States was peripheral to the event...I would like a Holocaust museum in every one of the world's cities. I would like that because the Holocaust was a universal experience -- something that people did to people. But if there is to be one major museum, if $147 million is to be spent somewhere, then it ought to be where the Holocaust originated: Germany...The Holocaust Museum will be in Washington because American Jews want it here. As such, it will be a `Jewish museum' -- extraneous to the broad American experience, but not to the German or European one. The museum belongs at the site of the crime -- a gift from America, particularly American Jews, to the German nation.”

Indigenous Racism
White Americans have sins of their own to repent, including the treatment by their ancestors both of the aboriginal inhabitants of their own land and of the Black slaves who were brought from Africa to labor in that land. Few would disagree with the appropriateness of memorials in Washington, DC to the achievements and tragedies of American Indian and American Black victims of indigenous racism. But as American visitors experience the Holocaust museum, they may share Cohen's doubts as to the motive and appropriateness of situating it in Washington instead of Europe. What is accomplished by the insistence of organized American Jewry not just in commemorating the unique horrors of the Holocaust, but in treating every individual criticism of Israel as an attack upon Jews in America? Are American Jews in real danger?

In fact there is far more concern within Jewish communities across the United States today at the chronically low birthrates to Jewish couples, and the fact that 30 to 40 percent of US Jews outside major American Jewish centers marry non-Jews. As Professor Daniel J. Lasker of Ben Gurion University in the Negev put it:

"In America today Jewish life is threatened neither by slavery nor by persecution nor by anti-Semitism. Jewish life is threatened by the danger that assimilation will weaken the Jewish community to the point that it will lose its vibrancy and vitality.”

Nevertheless, some politicians are having a field day with the anti-Semitism issue. Senator Paul Simon, who has received almost half a million dollars from pro-Israel political action committees in the past eight years, has introduced into the Senate the Hate Crimes Assistance Act. It instructs the FBI to begin an annual accounting of acts ranging from the type of vandalism that occurred at American University to arson, assaults and murders that seem to be motivated by hatred for a person's race, religion or sexual preference.

"There's a growing poison in the land, a growing hatred," Simon maintains. "You can't treat the problem if you don't know where it is.”

What is the immediate effect of cries of "anti-Semitism," and the extraordinary attention paid by Jewish students to the speakers brought to campuses by Black students?

At American University, scene of the grafitti incident, "relations between Arabs and Jews are definitely very, very tense," according to David Fain, a sophomore quoted by Washington Jewish Week. "Getting together any type of meeting or panel discussion is often very difficult. And relations between Jews and Blacks are also very tense -- much, much more than they should be...There are 127 countries represented here at American, and we need to try and create here a community of peace.”

Nat Hentoff, a long-time crusader for civil liberties, advises Jewish students to lower the confrontational rhetoric when African-American student groups bring speakers such as Louis Farrakhan and Kwame Toure (Stokely Carmichael) to campus, even if the event is paid for from student body funds.

"Censoring speakers gives their supporters another issue that can be used to becloud the real issue of anti-Semitism. When Jewish students are accused of being against free speech, they're put on the defensive -- for a long time to come -- on that campus.”

It's good advice. Better advice, however, would be to make clearer and fairer distinctions between "anti-Semitism," "anti-Zionism," and simple criticism of Israel.

Although Farrakhan is generally careful to confine his criticisms to Israel and Zionism, he has a genius for inserting into his rhetoric just enough ambiguous phrases to keep him in the national headlines. When Jewish critics complained about Farrakhan's alleged reference to Judaism as a "gutter religion," they put Farrakhan on front pages around the nation. His explanation that he had meant the exact opposite -- that Israeli soldiers couldn't possibly justify their actions against the Palestinians on religious grounds unless theirs was a "dirty religion" delighted his followers, infuriated his Jewish critics and kept his name in the headlines and his speeches packed.

The Smear of Anti-Semitism
Jesse Jackson, on the other hand, is the target of a smear campaign that all American Blacks, and most whites, recognize as unfair. His "Hymietown" remark was made in private and at the height of a campaign in which he was being harassed at every appearance by noisy, organized Jewish hecklers.

In fact he is being smeared because he traveled to the Middle East to meet Yasser Arafat. There Jackson embraced not only the Palestinian leader, but the two-state solution to provide Israel with security and the Palestinians with self-determination. Some American Jews, more than half of whom now also support the two- state solution, apparently cannot forgive him for being the first to be right. In routinely referring to him as "anti-Semitic," they are repeating slurs every bit as serious as his own one-time slur six years ago against New York's Jews.

Current attacks against Representative Gus Savage (D-IL), an easy target, may prove to be equally unfair. He is a congressman from a 70-percent-Black constituency in Chicago, where Black and white neighborhoods are as polarized as anywhere in the United States. He has been critical of Israel. A widower, he hit the headlines a year ago with allegations that he tried to force his attentions upon a Black Peace Corps volunteer assigned to his embassy escort during his official visit to Zaire. He in turn accused his accusers, and the newspapers that carried those accusations, of racism.

In March, journalists reported he had made anti-Semitic remarks at a Chicago election rally. They demanded that he be repudiated by Representative William H. Gray III (D-PA), who has presidential ambitions, and, Representative Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), from heavily Jewish New York City, both of whom had attended the rally but were not present when the alleged remarks were made.

In his own defense, Savage invited the press to view a videotape of his entire speech. The charge of "anti-Semitism" apparently was based upon two videotaped statements. One was that his opponent, also Black, had received more than 90 percent of his campaign donations from "pro-Israel, Jewish organizations," a tabulation Rep. Savage offered to prove. The other statement was that this outside intervention into his congressional district was orchestrated by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which he said was guilty of "un-American" and "illegal" actions.

Coordinating PAC donations is illegal, and AIPAC has been charged with doing just that in a formal complaint pending with the Federal Election Commission signed by the writer of this article, among others. Therefore, if Savage has done his arithmetic correctly, the allegations of "anti-Semitism" in his statement must refer to his reference to pro-Israel Jewish PACs, and to AIPAC, an organization of US citizens which exists to lobby on behalf of Israel, as "un-American." It's a judgment call on which Savage's media accusers and home district supporters will, almost certainly, disagree.

Anti-Semitism Does Exist
Although observers agree that anti-Semitism does not pose any real threat to Jews in post World War-II America, it would be absurd to maintain that it does not exist and could never increase.

"Most research in this country indicates a level of hard-core anti-Semitism equal to about five percent of the (American) population," according to Dr. Raymond Duch of the University of Houston, who has just completed a survey of anti-Jewish feelings in the Soviet Union partly funded by the American Jewish Committee.

Those US figures, high as they seem, hardly justify the degree of alarm evidenced in this excerpt from a weekly column from Israel by Emanuel Rackman on the "Cancer of Anti-Semitism" in The Jewish Week (Queens, NY) of March 9:

"I find it difficult to believe that a presumably august body such as the European Parliament would be so vicious as to impose sanctions on Israel in the cultural and scientific spheres...We are back to `square one' not only in the United States but all over the world. Sixty years after 1930, we are back to 1930 with perhaps more nations afflicted with the cancer than ever before. What a horrible disappointment for those of us who had hoped that our involvement in World War II would end all of this and the rise of the state of Israel would shrink the cancer rather than aggravate it...

"We are to be a blessing to all the nations of the earth. But how does one continue to do this in the face of the almost congenital hatred and mistrust that we suffer?”

Rackman clearly equates any criticism of Israel with "almost congenital" anti-Semitism. His is the same pessimistic philosophy that, a century ago, gave rise to the Zionist dream of creating a Jewish state as a refuge from inevitable persecution for Jews from all over the world.

That state's major problem at present, however, is its unwillingness to accept the fact that the Jewish refugees aren't coming, and that the lands it is holding for them in the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan Heights could be put to far better use by giving them back to their Arab occupants in exchange for a permanent peace.

Postponing the Inevitable
It is highly unlikely that many of the hapless Russian Jews presently arriving in Israel, only because the US will no longer receive them, will stay in the Jewish state for long. Even if all of them did stay, however, they would only postpone by 5 or 10 years the moment, early in the next century, when Arabs outnumber Jews in Israel and the occupied territories. This in itself is sufficient reason for American Jews to abandon their silence and insist that Israel withdraw from the occupied territories.

A recent survey by Steven M. Cohen of the City University of New York reveals that although leaders of American Jewish organizations generally give unquestioning support to the policies of any elected government of Israel, these leaders themselves favor by 3 to 1 Israeli talks with moderate PLO leaders and a land-for-peace settlement.

They would be doing Israel and themselves a favor by expressing these views publicly, and supporting the present Bush administration initiative for a land-for-peace settlement providing security to the Israelis and self determination to the Palestinians.

An excellent start would be for American Jews to begin listening and reacting thoughtfully to the political dialogue at home. Branding informed and honest criticism of Israeli policies as "anti-Semitism" is a disservice to political discourse in America, to moderate leaders in Israel, and, most of all, to the credibility of American Jews themselves, both in the US and in Israel.

Articles may be reprinted with proper attribution, except for photos and cartoons. Article copyright American Educational Trust.



INDEX FIELDS
------------

Author Curtiss, Richard H
Publication date May 1990
Publication title The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Publication year 1990


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Tunisian President Will Be Warmly Welcomed to US

Romdhani, Oussama. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  1 (May 1990): 11.


LINK TO DOCUMENT IN PROQUEST
----------------------------
http://ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218810315?accountid=11226




FULL TEXT
---------

Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's visit to Washington in mid-May will be his first state visit as president of Tunisia, and also as chairman of the Arab Maghreb Union, a position in which Ben Ali succeeded King Hassan of Morocco last January. As spokesman for the Maghrebi Union, the Tunisian leader will focus not only on Tunisian-American relations, but also on issues pertaining to the North African region which includes, besides Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Libya.

The Tunisian leader visited Washington briefly last November, following a three-day stay in New York City, where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Ben Ali's brief visit to the US capital provided him, in his words as he left the White House, "a valued opportunity to establish personal rapport" with President Bush, whom he had met previously during two visits by the then-vice president to Tunisia.

Tunisia's Second President
Ben Ali, formerly prime minister, assumed presidential power constitutionally on Nov. 7, 1987, from Tunisia's aging leader Habib Bourguiba. Bourguiba, Tunisia's first and only president since it became independent, has since been in private retirement in Mornag, near Tunis, and in his hometown of Monastir. He made a public appearance in April 1989 to take part in the early general elections called for by President Ben Ali.

Immediately after being sworn in, Ben Ali endeavored to defuse a dangerously polarized situation, releasing thousands of political prisoners, abolishing the "state security court" and presidency for life, extending a general amnesty to all former prisoners of opinion, and legalizing three new political parties. Islamist political leaders, for whom President Bourguiba reportedly sought the death penalty, were pardoned and several measures were taken to steer the state away from a course of secularization which had been followed with a vengeance by Tunisia's first head of state.

The Ben Ali government has opposed the formation of a "religious party," but made it known that it would not object to the Islamic activists publishing their own newspaper. President Ben Ali admits that "reforms are still necessary in certain fields," and "the establishment of a genuine democracy is a long-term effort." He adds, however, that "the process of change is underway, and it is irreversible.”

Tunisia has received substantial US assistance in the 33 years since it became independent from France. However, American aid to Tunisia has been decreasing recently, mainly due to tighter US budget restrictions.

For Tunisia, economic difficulties have been compounded by such adverse factors as floods, drought and locust infestation, which largely offset structural economic reforms undertaken with international support since 1986. These factors reduced the country's economic growth rate from 5.8 percent in 1987 to 1.5 percent in 1988. There are, however, signs of improvement in the country's balance of payments and in its foreign currency reserves, which increased from less than $100 million in 1986 to more than $700 million in 1990. Remittances from workers abroad picked up by 53 percent between 1984 and 1987.

The Dilemma of Middle-Income Countries
Another challenge facing Tunisia is its $6 billion foreign debt. Tunisia spends more than $1 billion each year on debt service obligations, including some to the United States. Tunisia, which has avoided the temptation of rescheduling and refrained from requesting the cancellation of its debt, has safeguarded its creditworthiness, but at a cost. In his address to the UN General Assembly, President Ben Ali called for an international conference to examine the question of indebtedness, drawing attention to the sit